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About Me

Paul Ryan

Current Rating: 5 / 5
Founder
CricConnect
www.cricconnect
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Former wicket keeping batter, I played NSW Premier Cricket for Western Suburbs, Mosman and St George from 1986 to 2004.
My professional background is in finance, sales and distribution.

My Activity

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Q: The third player to achieve scoring a century and taking five wickets in an innings in the same match was Sutherland’s Ted Cotton, in the Round 13 versus Western Suburbs at Caringbah Oval on 7th & 14th February 1970, finishing the match aged 40 years & 190 days. It was a match that was significant for more than just Ted’s all-round performance – in the Wests innings on day two, former Australian captain Bob Simpson made the highest score ever made at Caringbah/Glenn McGrath Oval.

A: Ted was a wonderful man and a terrific servant of cricket in New South Wales. He obviously played for NSW and excelled in Sydney Grade cricket, but we should never underestimate his influence as a coach for the NSW Under-19s team throughout the 1980s.
Together with Jack Wilson, they were a constant force, guiding and supporting hundreds of young players. Many went on to play for Australia, NSW, or first-grade cricket in Sydney.
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Q: Rod Tucker made his first class debut and played one game for NSW in 1986/87 before moving to Tasmania in 1988 and establishing himself as a fine all-round first class cricketer.

All up Rod played 103 first class games scoring 5,076 runs at an average of 36.25 including 7 centuries and 28 half centuries. With the ball he took 123 wickets at an average of 41.80.

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Q: Sam Perry is a former Grade Cricketer who possesses a deep love for the beauty, the history and the traditions within the game of cricket.

He’s also one half of the satirical duo that is ‘The Grade Cricketer’

Let’s find out more about Sam’s and his journey as a cricketer.

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Q: Are there any among you, whether current or past cricketer, who doesn’t pick up an orange and spin a leggie or an offie from hand to hand before eating it?
A: Absolutely Peter. Undercut off spin as the orange spins in the air and always caught with two hands.😉
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Q: Simon Taufel was a fast bowler coming through the Sydney Grade Cricket ranks when a back injury curtailed his playing ambitions and he went on to become cricket umpire.

74 Tests, 174 One Day Internationals, 34 T20 Internationals and was voted the number one umpire in International Cricket for 5 consecutive years.

It’s been quite a journey filled with wonderful experiences and a few lows.

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Simon Taufel was a fast bowler coming through the Sydney Grade Cricket ranks when a back injury curtailed his playing ambitions and he went on to become cricket umpire.74 Tests, 174 One Day ...
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Q: Jason Young played all his junior cricket in Wagga Wagga in the Riverina region of NSW.

A prodigious young batter with enormous talent and a thirst for runs and it wasn’t long before Jason sparked the interest of NSW underage selectors and Sydney talent scouts.

Jason played 3 seasons of Green Shield for Balmain and after leaving school he joined the St George District Cricket Club. He made his Sydney Grade Cricket first grade debut at St George and is the proud owner of first grade cap number 317.

A successful Under 19 National Championships saw Jason moved to Adelaide with the Australian Cricket Academy and he played Adelaide Grade Cricket for Prospect Cricket Club.

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Q: The very best batters are fearless in their intent and confident in their mindset, talent, and training to score runs.

Even so, I’m sure at some stage of their careers they had their doubts and found runs hard to come by. They might also have experienced some level of FOGO (fear of getting out).

As a conversation starter and to assist others, if you have experienced FOGO, I'd like to know what strategies or plans you've implemented to help you overcome it.
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Q: Gus Worland is a self-confessed cricket tragic.

Along with his great mate Hugh Jackman, Gus co-created and starred in the Fox Cricket series ‘An Aussie Goes’ where he did series An Aussie Goes Barmy in England following the Australian cricket team, and then An Aussies Goes Bolly in India and An Aussie Goes Calypso in the West Indies.

He currently hosts the Triple M Deadset Legends on Sydney Radio and is the founder of Gotch4Life Mental Health Foundation

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Q: 11 days after his 21st birthday on 21 February 1988 Scott Hookey made his debut for NSW in the McDonalds Cup one day against Queensland at the Gabba.

Hookey a big left hand opening batsman had a presence about him at the crease and on debut he opened the batting with former Australian opener John Dyson. The star studded NSW team also included Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Trevor Bayliss, Greg Matthews, Graham Smith, Peter Taylor, Phil Emery, Mike Whitney and Geoff Lawson was the skipper.

"Simply the most devastating batsman I played with. The "Hookey Monster" batted the way he lived his life."

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Q: With the 2024 T20 World Cup about to start in the United States, who are the three cricketers from any era before the birth of T20 cricket you’d have loved to see play T20?
A: Viv Richards
Mark Waugh
Dean Jones

From Sydney Grade Cricket

Scott Thompson
Gary Bensley
Nathan Pilon
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Q: NSW Combined GPS First XI Cricket team – 1988

Back Row – S. Waddington (Sydney Grammer), M. Hayward (Newington)

Middle Row – G. Easy (St Ignatius Riverview), B. Munro (Sydney Grammar), J. Horley (Newington), D. Gordon (Scots), A. O’Malley (Kings), C. Kourtesis (Manager)

Front Row – H. McCathie (Shore), J. Davison (St Ignatius Riverview), S. Gray (Sydney Grammer and Vice-Captain), A. Smith (St Ignatius Riverview and Captain), R. Wiles (Kings), W. Adlam (Scots), J. Yaffa (Kings)

9 players played first grade cricket in Sydney
2 players played first class cricket
4 players played NSW 2nd XI
1 international – John Davison played for Canada
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Q: Mark Atkinson left NSW at the beginning of the 1991/92 season to play cricket in Tasmania without a contract or a promise. By February that season he was selected to make his first class debut for Tasmania to play Pakistan.

An excellent gloveman and very effective batsman Atkinson proceeded to carve out a tremendous first class career during a successful era for Tasmanian cricket.

After 95 first class games Atkinson holds the record for the most number of dismissals for Tasmania with 290 dismissals – 261 catches and 29 stumpings.
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Q: Yallop’s declaration left South Australia with the shopping task of 271 runs to win off 24 overs. South Australian captain David Hookes, well known for his attacking flair was not impressed.

So much so, he elevated himself to opening the batting with Rick Darling.

What happened next became a moment in time as Hookes tore the Victoria bowler to shreds scoring 100 off just 34 balls to register the fastest century in the history of first class cricket. When Hookes brought up his century his opening partner Darling had scored just 7 runs.

A:
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Q: Yallop’s declaration left South Australia with the shopping task of 271 runs to win off 24 overs. South Australian captain David Hookes, well known for his attacking flair was not impressed.

So much so, he elevated himself to opening the batting with Rick Darling.

What happened next became a moment in time as Hookes tore the Victoria bowler to shreds scoring 100 off just 34 balls to register the fastest century in the history of first class cricket. When Hookes brought up his century his opening partner Darling had scored just 7 runs.

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South Australia played Victoria in a Sheffield Shield game starting 22 October 1982 in a game that will long live in the memory of all the players and those in attendance. Day 4 was a particular hi ...
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Q: Ken Healy made his first grade debut for South Brisbane during the 1984/85 season and he continues to make a significant contribution to the game as the head coach at Northern Suburbs Cricket Club and he’s the Business Development Manager for the Bulls Masters.

The Bull Masters foster and develop cricket throughout the whole of Queensland utilising retired Queensland cricketers as well as providing community support and assisting charities along the way.

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Q: On the 5 April 2023 at Cricket NSW Steve Waugh Medal Awards night Steve Rixon was inducted into the Cricket NSW Hall of Fame. A terrific and richly deserved accolade.

Steve Rixon was the driver of culture and standards in NSW Cricket for the best part of 30 or more years

On the 2 December 1977 Steve Rixon made his Test Debut for Australia against India at the Gabba to be Australian Test Cricketer number 287. The Australian Test captain on his debut was his Western Suburbs Club teammate Bob Simpson.

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Q: I love to see people do things a little differently and have fun doing so.

Evan Bancroft is a well-respected member of the Queensland sporting community, and Banger and his good mate former Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson, combine to help Jo attract new buyers to 14 Eversden Street, Kenmore.

Cricket and property are two of Australia's greatest passions.

Well done, Banger and Thommo, and best of luck with the sale.

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I love to see people do things a little differently and have fun doing so.Evan Bancroft is a well-respected member of the Queensland sporting community, and Banger and his good mate former A ...
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Q: Hi Josh, is 14 years old and he has never had any coaching and hasn’t finished growing. He rips in and has a great follow through. His take off landing is a little unconventional. Josh’s dad and I have been discussing should he try and iron it out or embrace it. We’d be grateful for any guidance.

A: Hi David,
I reached out to Anthony Stubbs who is a fast bowling coach and a strength and conditioning coach in Melbourne. Anthony is currently working with the Camberwell Magpies in Victorian Premier Cricket

Here's his feedback for Josh, his dad, and you.

More than happy to share some feedback. Love the energy and desire to get through the crease.

General feedback: would just be to learn to run well. Your running mechanics will impact how well you can reposition the legs in the jump. Which then gives you the best chance to snap at the crease and use the front leg effectively to pull yourself over. Versus collapse through.

If I look deeper: The switching of the legs isn’t ideal in the jump. And you’ll see a series of collapses play out through the delivery. There are low level stationary and dynamic drills to work on the sequence while the run up is improved. Then you’d bridge the gap layer.

For a 14-year-old you’re not in any rush. His technique will change as he grows.

I think the most important part isn’t so much ‘what’ you do, but ‘how’ you communicate it and he understands it. It’s easy to break it down so much it creates an in effective thought process which becomes a greater issue down the track.

I like to coach a feel of the main movements I’m after. And only address body parts of I think, link it to the feel of the overall key movement.

This is a little video breaking down the bowling action:



And here’s a private video I use to explain the runup

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Q: A cricket club in Newcastle has a vacancy for a head coach for the 2024–25 season.

If you’re an accredited coach (level 2 or 3) or a player who’d like to get into coaching and be a player/coach this could be a great opportunity.

If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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Q: Kevin Geyer made his first grade debut for Randwick in 1995 and after 2 seasons at Coogee he moved to the foot of the Blue Mountains to play for Penrith.

In NSW Premier Cricket from 1995 to 2012 Kevin scored 7,246 runs in 262 innings at an average of 30.19 and 11 centuries and 31 half centuries.

On the 14 February 1998 Kevin made his first class debut for NSW against Western Australia at the WACA. He played 3 first class games and 6 one day games for the Baggy Blues

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Q: Take a seat and get comfortable folks!!

This is Blake Macdonald and this was his season....

Award for most runs Grades 1 to 3 - 952 runs (Belvidere Cup)
2nd Highest Ever Runs in STGDCC 1st Grade Season (All Formats) - 1266
NSW Premier Cricket Team Of The Year
NSW Premier Cricket Equal Most 1st Grade Centuries - 5
NSW Premier Cricket Equal Most 1st Grade Half Centuries - 7
Highest Ever St George Limited Overs Score - 182
Most Boundaries in the NSW Premier Cricket Season - 181
Most Sixes in the NSW Premier Cricket - 54
Most Sixes in an Innings - 14
1st Grade Premiership

Congrats and thank you Blake. Absolutely legendary!!!
A: If anyone can explain the logic of why Blake Macdonald lost his NSW contract for 2024–25, I’d gladly sit with you for the 24 hours it would take for you to wear me down with reasons why.

In the last Sheffield Shield game of 2022–23, Blake made his first-class debut for NSW and opened the batting, scoring 21 and 61.

Weeks prior, he scored 98 and 91 for NSW Country/ACT 2ndXI v NSW 2ndXI.

For the 2023–24 season, he was awarded a NSW contract.

Blake was not selected in the first two 2023–24 Sheffield shield games but was for the third game against Victoria when NSW were bowled out for 102 and 173. Blake scored 22 and 14. Only one other NSW batter scored more runs in the game.

In the next game, Blake scored 5 out of the NSW total of 276 runs against Western Australia. NSW won by 10 wickets.
NSW lost their next game by an innings and one run against Tasmania after being bowled out for 181 and 311. Blake scored 2 and 12.

Blake was then dropped from the NSW Shield team and didn’t play again in 2023–24.
As you can see, NSW had been bowled out for less than 200 in the five innings played when Blake was on the team, so it’s not as if all the batters were scoring runs.

Blake has played four one day games for NSW, scoring 147 runs at an average of 36.75.

For a player to score 61 on his Sheffield Shield debut, be so highly thought of as to be awarded a contract, and then score 952 runs in NSW Premier Cricket at an average of 73.23, including 5 centuries and 3 fifties, how does he lose his contract?

Did Blake nail down his spot in the five innings he played this year? No, he didn’t. I don’t know Blake, but I’m sure he’d be the first to admit it.

Interestingly as well, he batted No. 3 and walked into bat after opening partnerships of 0, 10, 23, 0, and 28.

Blake is only 26 and entering the prime years of his cricket and run scoring career. He has shown an enormous thirst for scoring big years, and now, after just one year, when others have been afforded 30 or more innings in Shield cricket, he loses his contract.

I always thought the role of coaches within a state system, or any system, was to work with the players to identify areas of improvement and help them individually become better. Maybe I have that wrong.

You may need more than 24 hours.
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Q: My son is 15 and loves cricket. During the off-season last year, he worked really hard on his batting.
He was opening the batting and really enjoyed it and wanted to get a lot better. But after two games and he scored 33 and 41 the coach said he batted too slow and for the rest of the season he was batting down the order and didn’t get many chances.
No, he says what’s the point of training this off season. It’s sad as he really does love batting and the game. What advice could anyone offer?
A: Hi Drew
Is changing clubs the right thing to do?
Only you will know, but I’d like to offer a different perspective.
By changing clubs, you’re going into a different environment, different people, different relationships, and varying levels of loyalty, and who’s to say the same thing won’t happen again next season?
Without knowing the level of cricket your son is playing, I’d suggest arranging a meeting with the club president and coach to discuss what happened last season and get their feedback on what he needs to do to improve. It’d be important that he’s at the meeting so he can hear the feedback and, if he’s comfortable, ask his own questions.
A meeting such as this can clear the air and provide clarity and whose to whether the same coach will be coaching the team again next season.
If he has good friends on the team, staying at the same club could well be the right thing to do.
Another off-season at his age means he’s still growing. His natural growth and the right program will see him stronger and fitter, and it will carry through to his batting with greater timing, concentration, and confidence to hit the ball through the field.
I fully agree with David in terms of the art of batting and getting off-strike. Sadly, I think some coaches lose perspective on wanting their players to hit the big shots and boundaries.
Not every ball can go to the boundary, so if your son is able to find a way to move the ball around the field with singles and twos and then hit the odd boundary, he will score a lot more runs, and the team will greatly benefit.
You mentioned your son loves the game but is a bit down at the moment. I understand that, so here’s another suggestion.
Field is the thing cricketers do most of all in any game. He’ll spend more time fielding than batting, so I wouldn’t be too worried about him getting back into the nets in April.
Take him down to the local park and do some fielding drills. Taking catches, throwing balls at the stumps. A good diving catch or throwing down the stumps from 15 to 20 metres away could be a great way to reignite his passions. Let him do it again and again.
One thing for sure if you do it right is that he’ll become a much better fielder, and that’s a great thing for his cricket and his team, and it’ll build his confidence and game awareness.
It may also be the catalyst for him to want to work as hard as he did last off season.
The most important thing for your son is for him to have fun. There are many different ways in which you can help, but please don’t let one coach take his enjoyment and love out of the game.
Coaches come and go.
Here’s also a little video that might help – a batting masterclass with Ricky Ponting.
The message in this video I love most is Ponting saying there’s a small area on the wicket that he believed belonged to the bowler. A ball that hits the wicket in this area, he believed, needed to be respected and defended.
If the ball landed outside Ponting’s small but defined area, it was for him as the batter and an opportunity to score runs. It might be a single, a two, or a three. It could also be a boundary, but Ponting knew it was up to him to take advantage of the opportunity.
All the best Drew I hope this helps in some small way.

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Q: Can you name your best cricket team from players whose first name starts with the letter E?
A: 1. Ed Cowan
2. Eddie Paynter
3. Eoin Morgan
4. Everton Weekes
5. Eddie Barlow
6. Eldine Baptiste
7. Edward Tylecote (wicket keeper)
8. Ernie Toshack
9. Ezra Moseley
10. Erapalli Prasanna
11. Eric Hollies
12th man - Eddie Hemmings
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Q: What does club cricket mean to you?
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Q: Photo of the Armidale District Cricket Association Under 12 Cricket team that played an Under 12 team from New Zealand at Harris Park in 1978-79

Back Row - Dr Jim Irvine (Manager), Tony Ward, Stephen Perryman, Robert Pollard, Roger Monday, David Acton, Victor Crew, Anthony Marlin, David Watson, Bede Ryan (Manager)

Front Row – Doug Parberry, Michael McShane, Andy Irvine, Paul Ryan, Greg Johnson, David Munday, Andrew Martin, Stephen Thackaway
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Q: After 5 scores below 10 at the end of the season what advice or strategies could people offer for me to work on during the off season.

I’m 17 and was batting 4 and I really want to be a lot more confident at the start of next season.
A: Hi Nick,

I 100% agree with Wayne's terrific advice.

The fact you're asking the question in April is a great sign you want to improve. Just remember it's a long winter and you have plenty of time to rebuild your confidence before the start of next season.

If you're lucky to have your games streamed through frogbox or another service go back through your dismissals and see if you can identify any pattern and potential areas to improve. Don't also hesitate in going back to look at footage of the innings you did score runs. Positive reinforcement is a great tool to build confidence. If available video analysis is such a valuable resource to help identify the good parts of your batting and the areas you need to improve.

If you look for a coach, as Wayne quite rightly suggested, please make sure it is someone you trust and that they have your best interests at heart, not a conveyor belt coach.

Here's a link to a couple of videos with Ricky Ponting sharing terrific batting insights -

Most importantly, enjoy your training, enjoy finding ways to improve and scoring runs. Have fun Nick
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Q: Is it okay for a cricket coach who coaches players privately to be allowed to coach or be a selector in a state pathways system or a cricket club's underage representative team?
A: A direct message received from a parent.

"Hi Paul
This practice is rampant on the North Shore in Sydney. Teams are well and truly selected before trials have commenced by influential private coaches. The more lessons a week the better your chances of selection."
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Q: Is it okay for a cricket coach who coaches players privately to be allowed to coach or be a selector in a state pathways system or a cricket club's underage representative team?
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Q: Two terrific batting masterclasses involving one of Australia's greatest ever batters Ricky Ponting

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Legendary Australian batsman Ricky Ponting talks Michael Vaughan through his batting process and gives his advice to any aspiring young players. ...
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Q: Cricket typically spans six months, from September to March, during which each club, team, and player must contend with factors such as player availability, weather, pitches, fast and slow outfields, and dropped catches.

What makes it undeniable to play semi final cricket and win premierships is the need to have a connected team with a strong work ethic who play good cricket with the bat, ball, on and the field.

It’s true that catches win matches, but it’s the bowlers who create the chances. Bowlers rely heavily on the batters to score the runs needed to win the game to capitalise on their good efforts when they bowl first and score enough runs to give the bowlers a target to bowl to when the team bats first.

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Winning premierships and making the semi finals in cricket is never easy.Cricket typically spans six months, from September to March, during which each club, team, and player must contend wi ...
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Q: What's your IPF batting index?

If you know the number of innings you've played at any level and the number of scores above 50 you can calculate your Innings Per Fifty Batting Index.

Don Bradman played 338 test and first class innings and scored 117 centuries and 69 half centuries. 186 scores above above 50. 338 innings divided by 186 scores above 50 gives Bradman a IPF Batting Index of 1.82

Former South African Test batter Barry Richards played 576 test and first class innings and scored 80 centuries and 152 half centuries so his IFP Batting Index is 2.48.

Examples of other batters IPF in first class cricket

Sachin Tendulkar - 2.48
Ricky Ponting - 2.63
Jacques Kallis - 2.65
Graeme Pollock - 2.68. 437 test and first class innings
Steve Smith 2.70 currently
Mark Waugh - 2.76. 622 test and first class innings
Chris Rogers - 2.80
Kane Williamson - 2.81
Kumar Sangakkara - 2.87
Viv Richards 2.88 - played 796 test and first class innings
Matthew Hayden - 2.88
Brian Lara - 2.88
Damien Martyn - 2.93
Greg Chappell - 2.93. 542 test and first class innings
Allan Border - 2.95
Mike Hussey - 2.96
Joe Root - 2.97
Babar Azam - 2.98
Steve Waugh - 3.13
David Warner - 3.23
Virat Kohli - 3.23

Examples of existing first class players around Australia

Ollie Davies - 2.67. Has only played 16 first class innings
Marnuis Labuschagne - 3.14
Usman Khawaja - 3.22
Travis Head - 3.49
Peter Handscomb - 3.56
Daniel Hughes - 3.89
Nic Maddinson - 3.96
Cameron Green - 4.00
Marcus Harris - 4.01
Kurtis Patterson - 4.05
Nathan McSweeney - 4.21
Tim Ward - 4.31
Cameron Bancroft - 4.44
Matt Renshaw - 4.83

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Q: Cricket is a statistical game, and while statistics don’t always paint the full picture, they’re a pretty good place to start.

Hundreds are the treasure, the gold nuggets we all strive for, but you can’t score a century without first passing 50 or worse, still sitting in the sheds watching your team mates out in the middle.

The very best in Australia since the 1990s has been Ricky Ponting, who scored 50 or more in every 2.63 innings of first-class cricket (including test innings).

Young Ollie Davies from NSW has only played 16 first innings but is a shining light, scoring 50 or more every 2.67 innings.

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The Australian 2023–24 cricket season is complete. For those with dreams and aspirations, I hope that over the next month or so, batters around the country at all levels can reflect on their seas ...
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Q: Can you name your best cricket team from players whose first name starts with the letter D?
A: From my time playing NSW Premier Cricket from 1986 to 2004

1. Darren Tucker
2. Daniel Smith
3. Dirk Wellham
4. Dominic Thornley
5. Dean Waugh
6. Dan Christian
7. Dale Turner
8. David Gilbert
9. David Freedman
10. David Chardon
11. Doug Bollinger
12th man - Danny Waugh
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Q: On Saturday I took a little drive into Birmingham to pick out a new cricket bat for the season (the 20 mile drive took me nearly two hours!) and it got me thinking......

I'm just a club cricketer but I'm very picky. I couldn't care less about the brand, all I'm bothered about is the feel of the bat, the way it picks up, is the sweet spot generous and slightly low on the blade as we tend to play on slow decks in Warwickshire.

I went to three different bat makers in Birmingham, the first place only had 10 bats to look at, none felt right, so onto the next place. It said it was open, but I turned up and it was shut, so third time was the charm. I met Abid at A7 Cricket, and I was with him for nearly two hours, I picked up at least 50 blades before falling in love with one particular bit of wood.

When I was younger and a better player I would get bats for free but now I'm older and sh*tter, I don't have that luxury. If I'm to spend £300+ on willow, I'm not doing this online and risk getting something that doesn't feel right.

In February, March & April why don't bat makers go on the road in a van and book appointments with clubs and players? If a bat maker booked in an appointment at my club (Kenilworth CC) at preseason training they would have access to 40 senior players and over 100 junior players, I have no doubt they would sell a good number of blades in one hit. Go one step further, could appointments be booked in for at home visits and the van is essentially a showroom? The batmaker could do visits in the evenings and weekends when customers are actually available..

Maker&Son do this with sofa's coming directly to your door and it works.

This is hardly the most innovative idea but I've never heard of a bat maker doing this, yes there would be overheads but if you used a free booking software tool such as Calendly or Square then plugged it into your website and socials you're off. The bat maker then just needs to market effectively to their local audience and do outbound calls/emails with local clubs, you could even offer the club a group discount if they purchase a minimum order of bats.

Anyways, this is a ramble but for all the cricket badgers out there, would you use this type of service....... 🤔
A: Love this idea. Anyone who takes up the challenge is on a winner in my opinion. Thanks for sharing Stuart
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Q: Can you name your best cricket team from players whose first name starts with the letter D?
A: 1. David Warner
2. Desmond Haynes
3. Don Bradman
4. David Gower
5. Damien Martyn
6. Doug Walters
7. Daniel Vettori
8. Dale Steyn
9. Don Tallon
10. Dennis Lillee
11. Devon Malcolm
12th man - Danish Kaneria
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Q: The travelling scorer is happy in the Valley

When an elite sportsperson retires from their sport they’ll often say, “One of the things I’m most grateful for is that I got to travel the world and visit places I may not have otherwise been able to do. “

Would you consider a cricket scorer an elite athlete? Probably not but in the case of Pat Culpan, he scored cricket games at the elite level and travelled all over the world doing so.

Pat Culpan is the Executive Chairman and Life Member of Valley Cricket Club and has been the first-grade scorer for 23 years seasons. Pat started with Valley in 2000-01 and as a scorer and volunteer the game that has taken him all over the world.

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Q: Can you name your best cricket team from players whose first name starts with the letter B?
A: Team from my time playing NSW Premier Cricket 1986-2004

1. Brett Van Diensen
2. Brett Williams
3. Brian Wood
4. Brad McNamara
5. Ben Rohrer
6. Brad Haddin
7. Brett Patman
8. Brett Lee
9. Brendan Hill
10. Brad Guthrie
11. Ben Sawyer
12th man - Ben Saunders
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Q: Can you name your best cricket team from players whose first name starts with the letter C?
A: 1. Chris Gayle
2. Charles Bannerman
3. Colin Cowdrey
4. Clyde Walcott
5. Clive Lloyd
6. Colin Bland
7. Chris Hartley
8. Craig McDermott
9. Curtly Ambrose
10. Courtney Walsh
11. Clarrie Grimmett
12th man - Charlie Macartney
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Q: New South Wales cricket team managed by Jack Chegwyn played NSW Far North Coast in Lismore in November 1953.

The NSW team pictured included in batting order Ron Briggs, Arthur Morris, Ian Craig, Jim de Courcy, Keith Miller, Richie Benaud, Bob Simpson, Ray Lindwall, Arthur Fagan, Geoff Trueman, John Clark and Jim Burke was 12th man.

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New South Wales cricket team managed by Jack Chegwyn played NSW Far North Coast in Lismore in November 1953.The NSW team pictured included in batting order Ron Briggs, Arthur Morris, Ian Cra ...
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Q: I was talking to a mate who’s also a level 3 cricket coach, and he shared a batting tip I hadn’t thought of or heard before.

“People talk about the importance of a batter’s weight and hands moving through towards where they want to hit the ball when driving, and they’re correct. Another way to look at it is to keep it really simple and ask the batter to focus on making sure the toe of the bat is heading towards where you want to hit the ball.”

I like it.
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Q: Mike Whitney talks about former Australian cricket coach Bob Simpson and his effect on Australian cricket on @HowsThat-ThePodcast

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Q: Can you name your best cricket team from players whose first name starts with the letter B?
A: 1. Bob Simpson
2. Barry Richards
3. Bob Cowper
4. Brian Lara
5. Babar Azam
6. Ben Stokes
7. Brad Haddin
8. Brett Lee
9. Brian Statham
10. Bob Willis
11. Bishen Bedi
12th man Bhagnath Chandrasekhar
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Q: Can you name your best cricket team from players whose first name starts with the letter A?
A: I thought it’d be interesting to also pick a team from my time playing Sydney Grade Cricket from 1986 to 2004.

1. Andrew Sainsbury
2. Anthony McQuire
3. Aaron O’Brien
4. Adam Gilchrist
5. Anthony Clarke
6. Andrew Millican
7. Adrian Tucker
8. Anthony Kershler
9. Adam Warren
10. Anthony Stuart
11. Andrew Jones
12th man – Anthony Clark
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Q: Can you name your best cricket team from players whose first name starts with the letter A?
A: 1. Alistair Cook
2. Arthur Morris
3. Archie Jackson
4. Allan Border
5. AB de Villiers
6. Andrew Symonds
7. Adam Gilchrist
8. Alan Davidson
9. Anil Kumble
10. Andy Roberts
11. Allan Donald
12th man - Andy Bichel
answered
Q: First class cricket families in Australia.

Here’s a list we’ve compiled of the father and sons/daughters who have played first class cricket in Australia.

We may well have missed a few more so please if you know of other father and sons/daughters who've played first class cricket in Australian please share in the answers below.


Geoff Marsh - father (WA)
Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh - sons (WA)

Peter Faulkner - father (Tasmania)
James Faulkner - son (Tasmania)

Sam Trimble - father (Qld)
Glenn Trimble - son (Qld)

Terry MacGill - father (WA)
Stuart MacGill - son (WA and NSW)

Ian Brayshaw - father (WA)
James Brayshaw - son (WA and Sth A)

Rod Marsh - father (WA)
Dan Marsh - son (Sth A and Tas)

Norm O’Neill - father (NSW)
Mark O’Neill - son (WA and NSW)

Alec Marks - father (NSW)
Neil Marks - son (NSW)

James Sutherland - father (Vic)
Will Sutherland - son and Annabelle Sutherland - daughter (Vic)

Craig McDermott - father (Qld)
Alistair McDermott - son (Qld) and Ben McDermott - son (Qld and Tas)

Darren Lehmann - father (Sth A and VIC)
Jake Lehmann - son (Sth A)

Wayne Broad - father (Qld)
Ryan Broad - son (Qld)

Steve Nikitaras - father (NSW and WA)
Blake Nikitaras - son (NSW)

Ned Gregory – father (NSW)
Syd Gregory – son (NSW)

Trevor Laughlin- father (Vic)
Ben Laughlin - son (Qld and Tas)

Richard Stobo - father (NSW)
Charlie Stobo - son (NSW and WA)

John Rogers - father (NSW)
Chris Rogers - son (WA and VIC)

Bruce Doolan - father (Tas)
Alex Doolan - son (Tas)

Len Maddocks - father ((Tas and VIC)
Ian Maddocks - son (Vic)

Bob Blewett - father (Sth A)
Greg Blewett - son (Sth A)

Jeff Hammond - father (Sth A)
Ashley Hammond - son (Sth A)

Dean Sayers - father (Sth A)
Chadd Sayers - son (Sth A)

Murray Goodwin - father (WA)
Jayden Goodwin - son (WA)
A: Scott Prestwidge – father (Qld)
Jack Prestwidge – son (Vic)
Georgia Prestwidge – daughter (Vic)
Will Prestwidge – son (Qld)
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Q: Congratulations to Manly Warringah District Cricket for winning the Club Championship in both the Men’s and Women’s NSW Premier Cricket 2023-24 season. A terrific effort by all involved on and off the field.

To win the men’s club championship by 232 is quite incredible.

The points awarded for the Club Championships are a multiple of the points gained from each game in all 5 grades plus the Poidevin Gray and Green Shield games.

First Grade – the points from each game multiplied by 6.
Second Grade – multiplied by 5.
Third Grade – multiplied by 4.
Fouth Grade – multiplied by 3.
Fifth Grade – multiplied by 2.
Poidevin Gray – multiplied by 4.
Green Shield – multiplied by 2.

As you can see the higher grades receive more points, so I wanted to dig a little deeper to establish how dominate Manly have been across the 5 grades in the preliminary rounds of the 2023-24.

In the 5 Grades, not including the First Grade T20, Poidevin Gray and Green Shield competitions, Manly have played 79 games and won 60 with a winning percentage of 75.9%.

The next best is St George District Cricket club winning 54 games with a winning percentage of 68.3%.

Here are the number of wins for each club in 2023-24 in the 5 grades in Men’s NSW Premier Cricket

Manly – 60
St George – 54
Parramatta 52
NDs - 50
Wests - 47
Sydney Uni - 46
Easts - 44
Gordon - 42
Bankstown- 42
North Sydney - 38
Sutherland- 34
Penrith - 31
UNSW - 28
Campbelltown- 27
Sydney - 26
Fairfield - 25
Randwick Petersham - 25
Mosman - 25
Blacktown- 21
Hawkesbury- 14

It’s worth noting Manly won the Green Shield Premiership and finished on top of Pool A in the Poidevin Gray competition but lost to Randwick Petersham in the quarter final.

A mighty season by Manly, the benchmark for all to consider and reflect on.

Best wishes to all teams in the 5 grades who have made the semi-finals. Semi-finals and finals cricket is so much more fun, so enjoy and embrace the challenge and opportunities.
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Q: Photo and scorecard of the NSW Under 19 cricket team that played India Youth in a 2 day game in November 1986

Back Row – Jack Wilson (Manager), Andrew Fitzhenry, Nigel Brooks, Brett Williams, Paul Calvert, Ross Toohey, Ted Cotton (Coach)

Front Row – Adrian Tucker, Chris Fox, Garry Lovett (Vice Captain), Paul Ryan (Captain), Scott Prestwidge, Wayne Holdsworth, Rodney Davison

2 day game - 8, 9 November 1986 at North Sydney Oval

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Back Row – Jack Wilson (Manager), Andrew Fitzhenry, Nigel Brooks, Brett Williams, Paul Calvert, Ross Toohey, Ted Cotton (Coach)Front Row – Adrian Tucker, Chris Fox, Garry Lovett (Vice Ca ...
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Q: For many years, I’ve had the good fortune of speaking to several University of New South Wales cricketers who played under the leadership of John Rogers.

John was the captain of the UNSW first grade team when they won the first-grade premiership in Sydney Grade Cricket for the first time in 1976–77.

To this day, the players speak so highly of John Rogers. These men are now in their 60s, yet the reverence and esteem they hold for John is wonderful and inspiring.

Since the moment I met John many years ago at a Sydney test match surrounded by four of his UNSW players, I’ve wanted to know more about his captaincy and leadership.

In response to a request, Chris Chapman wrote this about John Rogers:

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Chris Chapman has some experience of leadership. He headed up the construction of the Sydney Olympic Stadium; he’s been CEO of the Seven Network and of the O ...
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Q: Who is the one player from Sydney Grade Cricket who played between 1980 and 2000 you’d want as the first player selected if you had the opportunity to start your own NSW Premier first grade cricket team?
A: Gary Bensley. Terrific allrounder and a great leader to kick start a new team. Benso, closely followed by Phil Marks and Scott Thompson
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Q: Gavin Fitness a stalwart of Queensland Premier Cricket played 25 seasons of First Grade after making his debut as an 18-year-old in 1986.

Being a wicket keeper in Queensland in an era with the likes of Peter Anderson, Ian Healy, Peter Drinnen and Wade Seccombe was tough but Gavin was resolute in his desire.

He played 3 Sheffield Shield games for Queensland and was desperately unlucky not to be keeping in the final when Queensland won their first ever Shield in 1994/95 after Wade Seccombe return from injury.

Gavin is a premiership winning player and highly regarded by his peers.

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Gavin Fitness a stalwart of Queensland Premier Cricket played 25 seasons of First Grade after making his debut as an 18-year-old in 1986.Being a wicket keeper in Queensland in an era with th ...
answered
Q: Who is the one player from Brisbane Grade Cricket who played between 1980 and 2000 you’d want as the first player selected if you had the opportunity to start your own Queensland Premier first grade cricket team?
A: From afar I'd choose Peter Clifford, he's a winner
answered
Q: Who is the player you'd consider the most influential player in the Australian Men's Test cricket team from 2000 to 2009?
A: Adam Gilchrist - changed the game as a wicket keeper batter
answered
Q: Vale Jack Trestrail

Sadly, Jack Trestrail (#303) has passed away in Brisbane, gradually leaving us after being subdued by dementia for sometime.

Tressy was a fine cricketer, making a name for himself in the Ex Services sides of the second half of the 1960's. Just to get a game for that team was an achievement as they were among the strongest club teams Armidale has seen. Earlier, he had been in the Easts stable.

Jack played the first of his 10 seasons with Waratahs in 1975 and was a handy allrounder in A grade until he made the move to A-Res grade in 1980, as a cornerstone of the legendary Waratahs Vets for two seasons. Not to leave it at that, when the Vets concept ended, he took his place with distinction in 2nd grade, making nearly 1,400 runs at 41 with 4 hundreds over the next three seasons before retirement. In all, he made 2,459 runs@27, took 124 wickets@17 and held 44 catches.

Club members will remember him for different reasons. Andrew Davis remembers the part Jack played in his foremost personal highlight at Waratahs, a 2nd grade 5th wicket record partnership of 142 v TAS in November of 1983, when his batting partner made 111 of his 530 runs that season. His 3rd grade Vets team mates would remember Tressy and Brian Joice opening the bowling and both bowling unchanged through two innings of a semi final v Churches and not content with rolling them for 91 & 74 - his own contribution 6-48 & 3-29 of nearly 30 overs for the weekend), then guiding the side home with a steady 39 not out as Waratahs scored 9-97 and won by just the one wicket. His players will recall his captaincy in 2nds was all positivity and encouragement. Others remember his kindness away from the field, as a rare businessman in the financial sector with a heart.

He was a bloke who loved to compete and he could be fierce in a scrap, one that you'd rather have on your side but he also loved to play the game for the fun which came from playing with his mates ... and of course, stirring the opposition!

Its ironic, that while in the end he had trouble remembering, he's a Tah we won't ever forget.
A: Very sad. I remember Jack's booming voice and a big smile as a youngster growing up around the cricket fields in Armidale.

My condolences to the family.
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Q: Why is this not out?

When a bowler bowls the ball, they become a fielder and when Stobo throws the ball Chis Green is out of his crease.

The batter is not allowed to obstruct a bowler or fielder attempting a run out.

What if Chris Green played the ball to short cover and the cover fielder picked the ball up and threw it towards the stumps. If Chris Green attempted to stop the ball with the bat or any part of his body, he would’ve been given out obstructing the field.

What’s the difference?

Source - Foxsports

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Q: There’s potential in Spencer Johnson and Lance Morris for sure.

If Mitch Marsh is not going to bowl much, be possibly needs to be given more responsibility to bat higher at No. 4 with Green slotted back into No. 6 as the all-rounder.

I reckon we’ve missed a trick with not rotating the bowlers at all recently. (Boland, Neser, Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff, etc. will all be past their best when the next opportunity knocks.

Also, we could have been smarter in re-selecting Bancroft and/or Renshaw earlier, particularly in England where Warner generally struggled against Stuart Broad.

There may come a time when the current Australian players have played on too long and retire at the same time. I think we’re close to possibly becoming Dad’s Army and losing an Ashes series at home to England in 2025/26, simply because they will be younger and at their peak and/or we have a new generation of players in the team that are inexperienced.
A: You raise some excellent points Rod.

I had a look at the England team and the majority of their players are coming into their prime and will be for the 2025/26 Ashes. The same for India next summer.

It’s very hard to be critical of a team that just retained the Ashes, won the Test World Championship and the One Day World Cup. Australia has had a great year.

However, I do hope the coaches, selectors and management take a deeper look into the team/squad because if England’s wicket keeper in the first two Ashes took the catches and the Pakistan team did the same, things might have been a whole lot different in terms of both series.

I’m not sure Marsh should be batting higher than 6. He’s a such an attacking batter and coming in at 2 for 20 will he take on the responsibility to knuckle down. If Green remains at 4 and is a project player, he needs to be given an opportunity to learn from Smith and Khawaja about building an innings. But he does need to be scoring big run more regularly.

My big concern is who are the players next in line?

After 6 Sheffield Shield games in 2023-24 only 5 of the top 10 run scorers are averaging more than 40.

NSW only has one top order batter averaging more than 28 in 2023-24.

It’ll be fascinating to see the make up of the first test team for the next Ashes series.
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Q: Bob Simpson, who was a major force in the success of Australian cricket in the late 1980s and 1990s, used to say to a young group of players at Western Suburbs many years ago that a second-grade batter is only eight consecutive hundred away from playing Test cricket for Australia.

Simpson created hope by sharing two consecutive hundreds in 2nd grade, which should warrant a promotion to first grade. 3 consecutive first grade hundreds would bring you into calculations for NSW, and if you followed it up with 3 consecutive hundreds in first class cricket, you could be selected to make your debut for Australia in Test cricket.

It’s never been done, but gee, I’d love the theory to be tested. You never know how any player will perform until they are given an opportunity.

Can NSW Selectors ignore the form of Gordon District Cricket Club first grade captain Tym Crawford?

Tym has scored over 6,000 first grade runs and is only 30 years of age and look at his six innings for Gordon in NSW Premier Cricket.

• 101 off 116 balls in Round 7 vs. UTS North Sydney
• 205 off 140 balls in Round 8 vs. Penrith.
• 119 off 92 balls in Round 9 vs. Northern District.
• 48 off 42 balls in Round 10 vs. Sydney
• 164 off 121 balls in Round 11 vs. Sydney University
• 94 off 113 balls in Round 12 vs. Mosman

He’s in form and has created the currency of performances we’ve been assured are most worthy.
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Q: John Dunk is a well-known and highly respected member of the cricket and business community across the regional and rural communities of New South Wales.

He’s a farmer, Insurance broker and continues to have a lifelong love of cricket. He’s travelled to just about every corner of NSW to play the game and played grade cricket in Sydney for Western Suburbs.

John made his debut for Western Suburbs in 4th grade during the 1969-70 season. It didn’t take long for John to impress when he took 8 for 44 in a game and for the two seasons 1969-70 and 1970-71 John played at Wests he played in 4th grade, 3rd Grade, and 2nd grade. He scored 349 runs and took 57 wickets at an incredible average of 10.09.

John opened the bowling in the Poidevin Gray Under 21 competition with Western Suburbs first grade opening bowler Gary Gilmour who went on to play first class cricket for NSW and Test Cricket for Australia.

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John Dunk is a well-known and highly respected member of the cricket and business community across the regional and rural communities of New South Wales.He’s a farmer, Insurance broker and ...
question
Q: Phil Gould played 103 NRL games for Penrith, Newtown, Canterbury Bulldogs and South Sydney. He coached Canterbury Bankstown, Penrith and Sydney Roosters winning premierships at both the Bulldogs and the Panthers.

He coached the NSW State of Origin team to 5 series wins over Queensland. 24 games as the Blues coach, winning 15 games.

Phil is a long time media commentator with Nine Entertainment and continues to be a powerful influence and inspiration across the game he loves.

He is also a passionate cricket fan

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Q: Saturday was an historic one for Sydney 1st Grade cricket. When Anthony Sams held a sharp leg-side catch for Randwick Petersham in the clash against Manly-Warringah at Manly Oval, he wrote his name into the history books of Sydney Grade Cricket/NSW Premier Cricket. That snare gave him a career total of 500 1st Grade wicketkeeping dismissals–only the second player to achieve the feat since the competition began in 1893 and the first in 68 years. The only wicketkeeper to reach such a remarkable milestone prior to Saturday, was Ernie Laidler who played with St George between 1928 and 1958 and brought up the number towards the end of the 1955-56 season. Anthony’s 500 dismissals comprise 448 catches and 52 dismissals and include 5 catches to took with Bankstown before joining Randwick Petersham in 2010-11. He currently has 495 dismissals with the club.

And to make the day a more memorable one for the brilliant wicketkeeper-batsman, just hours before achieving his historic milestone, he scored his 13th century for Randwick Petersham. Coming in to bat with the score a precarious 3-5, he was the sixth batter out at 188 having scored 103 from 150 balls with 12 fours and a six. It was a simply outstanding performance by any measure.

A: Congratulations Anthony, a terrific achievement. Keep on keeping on
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Q: At St George District Cricket Club in September 2022 Centenary of First Grade Dinner, one of the greats of our club Jon Jobson was inducted into the St George DCC Hall Of Fame. Unfortunately, Jon was unable to attend the function but team mate and friend Paul Bourke accepted the honour on his behalf.

Here is what Paul had to say on Jon Jobson

Jon Jobson, known as Jobbo, joined St George at the beginning of the 1974/75 season. He was a 17 year old Taree schoolboy and was immediately selected in First Grade as Cap Number 251. His first three innings of duck, duck, and 7 meant he was almost known as “007 Jobbo”.

By the time he retired from First Grade Jon had scored 5950 runs at over 30 to be the sixth highest First Grade run scorer for the Club.

His maiden century occurred during a 211 run partnership with Brian Booth vs Nth Sydney when scored Brian scored his 23rd century. Jon’s top score of 194 not out was against a pretty good Waverley attack led by Tony Greig and David Hourn, and only ended when rain washed out play about an hour before stumps.

Jon was a very determined top order bat and a forceful stroke player. He often thrived under pressure situations.

Jon was named in the Teams of the Decade for both the 1970s and 1980s, and captained teams to Premierships in PGs and First Grade. He also coached the Green Shield team to two Premierships and winners of the State Challenge.

Furthermore, he gave over 20 years of outstanding service as President then CEO of the Club.

Jobbo has a made a huge contribution to St George over many years and richly deserves this recognition in the Hall of Fame.

He now lives in Tasmania and unfortunately was not able to attend tonight. I recently spoke to Jon, who is greatly honoured to receive this award, as the Hall of Fame includes so many outstanding players.

As his friend and former teammate, I am very pleased to accept this award on his behalf.

Paul Bourke Cap No 246.
A: Congratulations Jobbo, tremendous honour and so richly deserved
answered
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A: Love this product, congratulations Dustin and the team at Gabba
question
Q: Corey Richards was a wonderful cricketer. Technically very correct and could play shots all around the ground and he was an excellent fielder.

It might sound a bit strange but as a wicket keeper playing against Corey, you didn’t mind him scoring a few runs.

Corey played 55 first class games for New South Wales and Australia scoring 2,953 runs at an average of 31.41 with 7 centuries and 15 half centuries. His highest score in first class cricket was 164.

In 81 limited overs games for New South Wales Corey scored 2,176 runs at an average of 32.47 with 3 centuries and 13 half centuries. His highest score in one day cricket was 151.

In his prime Corey could mix it with the very best

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Corey Richards was a wonderful cricketer. Technically very correct and could play shots all around the ground and he was an excellent fielder.It might sound a bit strange but as a wicket kee ...
question
Q: Hamish Solomons is the very proud owner of Cap Number 355 for St George District Club. He’s a Life Member of St George and it’s where he scored 3,251 runs and took 334 wickets across the grades he played.

What’s been your most memorable moment in cricket?

Captaining the premiership season of 2005/06 where we witnessed firsthand the emergence of Trent Copeland the bowler who had been my wicket keeper the season before. I actually wrote a piece about Trent and had the pleasure of delivering the nomination for Trent to become a Life Member at St George

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Q: The role of a cricket captain can be defined in many ways and can vary from captain to captain.

From my perspective, the role of a captain is threefold.

Firstly, the captain needs to ensure their own performances are worthy of being selected for the team. Don’t take it for granted; your place in the team is secure just because of the captaincy. You’re a player first, and depending on your skills, you need to be scoring runs, taking wickets, wicket keeping or fielding well, and making a valuable contribution to the team.

Secondly, it’s part of a captain’s role to help each player on the team become a better player.

Some cricket clubs have the good fortune of a club coach and perhaps a team of coaches. Many don’t.

If a club has a coaching structure in place, captains need to work very closely with the coaches to identify and communicate with the players on how they can individually improve.

Captains should never abdicate all responsibility to the coaches because, as captain, you’re the one out on the field with the players, and they’ll be looking for your support in the heat of the battle.

If a player or players aren’t performing, ask yourself why and what you can do to help the player. A good captain doesn’t take the easy option of just dropping the player from the team.

When was the last time you communicated with all your players outside of a training session or game day?

If it’s a technical issue within their game, share your thoughts with the coaches.

If it’s not a technical issue, take the time to show you care. Ask questions and talk to them about life outside of cricket.

You never know how a conversation or a quiet word of encouragement can help.

Communication and caring are such powerful ingredients in building a player’s confidence and building a team.

Thirdly, encourage your players and the team to compete and play to win games of cricket.

Helping players understand their roles and talking through game plans is obviously vital to any team’s success, but if a captain can do points one and two well, winning and enjoying games of cricket becomes a lot easier.

Best wishes to all captains and aspiring leaders. I hope this might add some value to some of you.
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Q: Former Australian Test cricketer Max Walker passed away 28 September 2016 at the age of 68. He lived a full and loveable life.

Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Walker went on to play VFL Football for Melbourne Demons (85 games), Shield cricket for Victoria and Test cricket for Australia.

He would often reflect on playing cricket for Australia, “My goodness, I’m a kid from Hobart Tasmania, what am I’m doing share a dressing room with Dennis Lillee, Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell, Dougie Walters, Rodney Marsh, Ian Redpath, Keith Stackpole…..it was such a privilege.”

Off the sports field Max Walker, affectionately known as Tangles because of his tangled bowling action of “right arm over left earhole” became a popular and infectious TV personality, author of 14 books, an engaging storyteller and a much sought after public speaker.

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Q: NSW Combined Catholic Colleges cricket team - 1983

Back Row – David Watt (Manager), Peter Lonard, Darren Burge, Gavin Robertson, Fred Angles, Paul Ryan, Graeme Kightley (Assistant Manager)

Front Row – Paul McGee, Tony Pratt, Kieran McKenna (Vice Captain), Greg Doyle (Captain), Anthony Quinn, Paul Everingham, Richie Griffiths

Absent – Jason Gapps
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Q: Barry Everingham has made a lifetime contribution to sport especially in regional NSW.

In his prime he was a wicket keeper batter representing NSW Country and the Northern NSW Emu’s and he was the No 10 for NSW Country in Rugby Union.

In recent years Barry has been one of the greatest advocates for Veterans Cricket. He has encouraged, enticed, and inspired many to join the “Men’s Shed” and play Veterans Cricket.

Those who know Barry will know how much he’ll treasure this wonderful gift presented to him by his good mate Steve Gray

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Barry Everingham has made a lifetime contribution to sport especially in regional NSW.In his prime he was a wicket keeper batter representing NSW Country and the Northern NSW Emu’s and he ...
answered
Q: Anthony Barranca - my best captain

One of the best captains I had the pleasure of playing for and with, is a man by the name of Mark Hullet.

He had a great cricket brain, but it was how he managed the team and more so the individuals within the team, a real man manager.

I’ll never forget when we were playing in our first grand final and we were all in a tight circle and he made it clear that the 11 blokes that were going to take to the field that day could share in something very special together and that the odds of the same 11 guys to get the chance to do it again was extremely unlikely.

“This side will never be the same 11 ever again”!

It really made me think about the opportunity ahead and that I would do anything for the other 10 men taking the field. He was right, we won, and those same 11 blokes were never a team again even though we won 3 premierships in 4 years.
A: So true Anthony.

I played in 4 first grade grand finals in NSW Premier Cricket . We won 2 and lost 2 but the 11 players who played in each grand final never played in the same team again.

A great message leading into the back end of the season. Seize the opportunity. Thanks for sharing.
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Q: Cricket is a unique sport. It's fun, connects people and provides so much content for our community to enjoy and engage.

You are welcome to contact me directly if you’d like to

· write and publish cricket related content.
· tell the tale of a memorable cricket moment or experience.
· have a photo of a team or players that evokes great memories.
· have a video of a funny or memorable cricket moment

It doesn't matter what level of cricket you've played or support, cricket always delivers great content.

Let’s connect.
question
Q: Love him or whatever your opinion is of David Warner, he’s undoubtedly one of Australia’s greatest ever cricketers.

In the scheme of things does it really matter he said he’d like to finish his test career at the SCG test in January 2024. His contribution to Australian cricket would suggest he’s earned the right to say how he’d like to finish his career but like every other cricketer his selection has and always should be up to the selectors.

Ian Healy wanted to finish his career in the first test in Brisbane in 1999, the selectors denied him a farewell test.

Prior to the 4 test series against India in 2003-04 Steve Waugh announced he’d be retiring after the 4th test at the SCG.

The selectors picked Waugh as captain in each test and in his last test he scored 40 and 80 in front of a packed 5th day SCG crowd in an emotional farewell.

Today Warner scored his 26th test century in the first test against Pakistan in Perth. He is now only one test century behind Allan Border’s 27 test centuries.

He’s played more tests than Mark Taylor, David Boon and Justin Langer.

He has a higher test average than Mark Waugh.

As an opening batter he has a strike rate of 70 runs per hundred balls. He 2nd behind Adam Gilchrist who had a strike rate of 80.

David Warner is now within 100 runs of passing Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke to become Australia’s 5th highest run scorer in Test cricket.

He sits comfortably with all Australian cricketing greats and he did it his way. Good luck to him.
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Q: My other life in volunteering is as President of Bankstown District Cricket Club, a club steeped in tradition from Thomson and Pascoe to the Waugh twins and many more first-class players. As a Club we have supporting the development and growth of cricket in Uganda for well over a decade through providing them, on annual basis, a container load of new and used cricket gear from suppliers, other clubs and individuals from all around the State. We could not have done this without the support of our extraordinary volunteer group and sponsors such as the Bankstown District Sports Club.
As a Club we were overwhelmed with joy when we recently learned that Uganda had qualified for the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup. We can proudly say that we had some small part in creating that success and growing the game, that I and many others love so much, in emerging cricket nations like Uganda.
A: Terrific leadership and support. Congratulations Reza and to everyone involved with Bankstown District Cricket Club, well done.
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Q: Round 9 of the 2023-24 NSW Premier Cricket season takes on a special significance for Western Suburbs District Cricket Club and Manly Warringah District Cricket Club.

On Saturday 16 December 2023 Western Suburbs and Manly will play an historic day night at Wade Park in Orange in the Central West of New South Wales, some 250 kilometres west of Sydney.

It is a tremendous initiative by both clubs and an exciting weekend for all cricket fans in Orange and surrounding districts.

The brainchild of Manly’s Vice President David Gainsford and Western Suburbs President Mike Swan. Both should be congratulated for their proactive support for regional cricket in New South Wales.

David Gainsford has a very strong connection with cricket in the country as he spent his early years in Narromine and his father Brian was a long serving Chairman of Country Cricket NSW.

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Round 9 of the 2023-24 NSW Premier Cricket season takes on a special significance for Western Suburbs District Cricket Club and Manly Warringah District Cricket Club.On Saturday 16 December ...
question
Q: Recently I watched a young left arm medium pace bowler bowl to a right-hand batter with 7 fielders on the offside and only 2 on the leg side and it immediately reinforced how important the relationship between a bowler and captain is.
The young left arm bowler had taken the new ball and had the nice natural action to swing the ball into right hand batters.
The field set was 3 slips, a gully, a point, a cover and mid off and on the leg side was a mid-wicket and fine leg.
Left arm swing bowlers are so valuable as they ask so many questions of the batters. Is the ball going to swing into my pads or will it hold its line and straighten towards the slips.
If the bowler gets it right, they have LBW and bowled in play as well as a catch to the wicket keeper, slips, gully, or point.
However, the captain needs to give the bowler the confidence of being able to attack the stumps. If they stray just a fraction with only one fielder at mid-wicket in front of square on the leg side, it makes it easier for the batters to score runs.
It may mean the bowler starts concentrating bowling a 5th or 6th stump line which might negate the opportunity to swing the ball. Its not what any team wants for the new ball bowlers.
Personally, I’d have liked to see the captain remove the fielder at cover and put them at mid on and have a straighter mid-wicket and a fine leg.
It makes it a 6 – 3 field and will give the bowler more confidence of being able to pitch the ball up and swing the ball as they have the added protection of a mid-on and mid-wicket to minimise scoring opportunities and keep the pressure on the batter.
As there is now a gap in the field at cover it might encourage the batter to start playing cover drives which is exactly what the left arm bowlers wants because if the batter doesn’t execute the cover drive correctly, a catch behind the wicket may not be too far away.
Also with mid-wicket relatively straight the batter may look to score through square leg which may mean they start playing across the line to balls pitching on off or middle stump and the LBW and bowled is back in play.
It’s very important for the captain to get their field right in supporting their bowlers but it’s also important the captain creates an environment where bowlers have the confidence to speak up about how they’re looking to dismiss the batter and the field settings they’d like.
Communication is the key.
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Q: In Western Suburbs District Cricket Club 3rd Grade game against Sydney Cricket Club one of our umpires was Geoff Garland. Geoff is 81 years of age.

Geoff first involvement with senior cricket in New South Wales began in 1961 and he’s been a players, umpire, and mentor ever since.

He started umpiring at the age of 50 and has umpired over 450 games for the Sydney Cricket Association. Geoff was awarded Life Membership of New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association in 2019.

Saturday was a one day 50 over game and Geoff was at the top of his game. He engaged at the appropriate times, didn’t go looking for unnecessary noise and communicated and managed the game terrifically well. And he did it all with a smile.

It’s wonderful to see Geoff still umpiring as he’s a wonderful role model for all umpires and players. It was even better to see to see him so spritely and enthusiastic.

I dip my lid Geoff.
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Q: This isn’t a story about a game of cricket or a cricketer but it is for all cricket fans throughout Australia especially those with kids or grandkids between the ages of 8 and 14 (tweens or teens as they say).

I love promoting businesses when I can clearly see value they can add and bring to the community. It’s even better when the business is founded and owned by people within the cricket community.

My kids have progressed through their teenage years (well almost all the way through) and they’ve grown up with all the new technology platforms. They’ve been hooked, distracted, entertained, and interestingly become bored and tired of their negativity.

When I heard about Zown, I thought why not share it with as many people as possible.

A:
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Q: Just finished another great cricket experience playing for NSW in the Div 2 side in the national championships in Christchurch NZ. A few ‘toight’ games beating Qld, then SA on one of the coldest ever days any of us have played cricket. Then Greg Hall and I put on 70 odd in 8 overs as a 10th wicket stand to steal a thrilling semi final against the host NZ to book a spot in yesterdays final against the other NSW team. As the pictures below illustrate……. of course the Cinderella story continued and we won Great team effort, great bunch of guys superbly led by my great mate Mark Tranter
Thanks for the memory’s guys
For those wanting to know how I went personally, well, ‘I got a few’

Picture - Luke Stoodley, Mark Tranter, Greg Hall, Stephen Leathley
A: Congrats Lethal on the championship win for the 55s Kangaroos and your own performances. Great carnival for you all.
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Q: This isn’t a story about a game of cricket or a cricketer but it is for all cricket fans throughout Australia especially those with kids or grandkids between the ages of 8 and 14 (tweens or teens as they say).

I love promoting businesses when I can clearly see value they can add and bring to the community. It’s even better when the business is founded and owned by people within the cricket community.

My kids have progressed through their teenage years (well almost all the way through) and they’ve grown up with all the new technology platforms. They’ve been hooked, distracted, entertained, and interestingly become bored and tired of their negativity.

When I heard about Zown, I thought why not share it with as many people as possible.

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Q: I remember a pre-season training session at Western Suburbs when I first came to Sydney and Australian cricketing great and club legend Alan Davidson spoke to the playing group about the benefits of hard work and training with purpose.

Mr. Davidson strongly emphasized the 6 Ps in cricket. Perfect Practice Prevent Piss Poor Performance.

All these years later I now know the 6Ps don’t just relate to cricket.

It’s human to want to know your role and not just in a cricket team. It’s in business, the workplace, and our personal lives. We all like to know where we fit in and the role we play.

The role of a captain in cricket is not just about what happens on the field or game day. It’s also important to know your players, what makes them tick and how you can help them feel better and more confident about the role you want them to play in the team.

A player who knows their role will tend to perform better than a player who is unsure and second-guessing their position.

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I remember a pre-season training session at Western Suburbs when I first came to Sydney and Australian cricketing great and club legend Alan Davidson spoke to the playing group about the benefits o ...
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Q: Terrific to see Brett Elliott at 54 years of age scoring 81 for Mosman 3rd Grade in their Round 3 one day game against Eastern Suburbs.
Chasing Eastern Suburbs 9 for 313 off 50 overs, Herb showed his class and kept Mosman in the game before they were bowled out for 253.
Herb won multiple first grade premierships with Bankstown in the 1990s and I’m sure he’s passing on some valuable lessons to his younger teammates.
Well done Herb.

Scorecard -
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Q: NSW Schoolboys cricket team - 1985

Back Row – Brett Williams, John Saint, Jamie Bray, Andrew Martyr, Craig Horner, Ian McGregor (Manager)

Front Row – Peter Rodger, Andrew Fitzhenry, Paul Ryan, Neil Maxwell (captain), Michael Cant, Wayne Holdsworth, Darren Young
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Q: At the completion of the 2024-25 Premier Cricket season around Australia which premier cricket club across the states playing first class cricket will be able to claim to be the best first grade premiership winning cricket club in the first 25 seasons of this century.

A quick review around the states since the 2000-01 season and there’s been 138 premier premierships won by 59 premier cricket clubs across NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland.

The premier premierships are for the two- or four-day grand finals and don’t include one day premierships.

There are 88 premier cricket clubs around Australia, so it means 29 clubs have not won a first-grade premier premiership since 2000-01 or longer.

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At the completion of the 2024-25 Premier Cricket season around Australia which premier cricket club across the states playing first class cricket will be able to claim to be the best first grade pr ...
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Q: Paul Maraziotis was one of the finest batters in NSW Premier Cricket to sadly not be selected to play for class cricket for his state. There are 11,660 First Grade runs, 23 hundreds, 61 half centuries reasons over 21 seasons at an average of 37.49 to suggest he must’ve been very close.

Mazza played 366 innings for Penrith, Bankstown, Blacktown and Sydney and is well placed in the top 10 NSW Premier Cricket Run Scorers of all time. At the time of publication, he sits at No.8.

Born September 1974. Mazza made his first grade debut for Penrith at the age of 18. He played for NSW Under 19’s the following year and lined up against future stars like Ricky Ponting, Michael Divenuto, Andrew Symonds, Brad Hodge, Martin Love just to name a few.

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Paul Maraziotis was one of the finest batters in NSW Premier Cricket to sadly not be selected to play for class cricket for his state. There are 11,660 First Grade run ...
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Q: Looking for some advice.
In one day cricket predominantly and against the spinners I’ve been having trouble beating the box fielder at mid wicket. I’ve not been timing being the ball well enough to get passed them or when I use my feet I’m struggling to get to the pitch of the ball and can’t generate any power in the shot.
Any tips on how to improve the shit because I see the good players do it so well and limit the number of dot balls.
A: Hey Justin
I agree with Jason and Bryan and their terrific advice.
It’s so important to practice and practice because it’s vital in a one-day game to be turning the strike over and not get too bogged down. It’s even worse if you do get bogged down and then throw your wicket away by being frustrated and playing an unnecessary shot.
Where you can, try and simulate match conditions, a centre wicket session. Grab one of your teams’ spinners, a wicket keeper and 3 fielders. One fielder positioned in the box on the leg side, one at mid-on and one at mid-wicket. Choose fielders who will challenge you but also have your best interest at heart and want to help.
With the spinner bowling to try and contain you and the fielders simulating a game situation it will allow you to use your feet, get your head over the ball, keep your balance and shape and practice playing the shots you need to maneuver a single, hit through the field for two, three or 4 or perhaps go over the field. An attacking shot is an extension of a defensive shot.
Be proactive and don’t be afraid to make a mistake and if get caught, bowled, or stumped, it’s ok. Go again and as long as you keep working hard, simulating a game-like scenario will help you build the confidence you need to take into a game.
It’s also a terrific little session for the fielders, the spinner and wicket keeper.
Best of luck Justin.
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Q: Behind every great team and player there should always be other players knocking on the door, scoring the runs, and taking the wickets to be ready and capable to come into to the team and maintain the standards and continuity of a winning team.

The Australia’s first-class cricket scene “The Sheffield Shield” had so many other players.

From a batting perspective.

Stuart Law – 27,080 runs at an average of 50.52 with 79 hundreds

Jamie Siddons – 11,587 runs at an average of 44.91 with 35 hundreds

Jamie Cox – 18,614 runs at an average of 42.69 with 51 hundreds

Brad Hodge – 17,084 at an average of 48.81 with 51 hundreds.

Martin Love – 16,952 at an average 49.85 with 45 hundreds.

All up, they scored 91, 317 first-class runs and a total of 261 hundreds.

Incredibly, of the 5, only 3 played a total 12 test matches for Australia. Brad Hodge (pictured after scoring a double hundred against South Africa) played 6 tests and averaged 55 in Test cricket. Martin Love played 5 tests and averaged 46.60 whilst Stuart Law only played one test and was 54 not out in his only innings.

David Warner has played 109 test matches and has said that he’d like to finish his test career after the 3rd test against Pakistan at the SCG in early January 2024.

It will mean sometime before now and then the Australian selectors are going to have to find a replacement opening batter.

Is it a little cheeky to say Australia future batting stocks resemble ‘old Mother Hubbard’ cupboard.’

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Cast your eyes over the statistics from batters around Australia from the late 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s.It was a time Austr ...
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Q: Dominic Thornley made his first class cricket debut for New South Wales in December 2003.

In a tremendous career Dominic played 83 first class and 100 one day games for NSW and must have been very close to Australian selection in both formats.

In the 2005/05 season Dominic scored 1,065 first-class runs at an average of 62.65 including 4 centuries.

In first-class cricket Dominic scored 5,166 runs at an average of 42.69 and hit 10 centuries and 29 half centuries. In one day cricket he scored 2,406 runs at 29.34 with 2 centuries and 15 half centuries.

With the ball Dominic took 56 wickets in first-class cricket and 52 in one-day cricket.

In NSW Premier Cricket from 1996 to 2013 Dominic scored 7,407 runs at 44.89 including 15 centuries and 43 half centuries. He also took 262 wickets.

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Q: Like most Jay Kangar fell in love with cricket at a very early age and he just wanted to be on the field.

He batted and bowled. He was the wicket-keeper and if his team was batting he was happy to the umpire.

At 27 he traded the white pants in for a black pair and became an umpire in Queensland Premier Cricket.

What advice would you offer a young 20-year-old who has the ambition of umpiring Test Cricket?

Patience as it’s a long way to the top to umpire Test matches and ask as many questions as you can to learn as much as possible.

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Like most Jay Kangar fell in love with cricket at a very early age and he just wanted to be on the field.He batted and bowled. He was the wicket-keeper and if his team was batting he was hap ...
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Q: Kasturi Kolte lives in Pune, Maharashtra, India and has worked in IT for the past 15 years.

Kasturi is a very passionate sports fan and loves cricket. She has played in India and in the United Kingdom during her time studying in Birmingham.

Who were the best 2 batters you’ve played against?

Mithali Raj – She has always been an inspiration to the young and old and me when I started playing. She had the best technique with batting along with determination of scoring every time she came to bat.

Harmanpreet Kaur (Current captain of India) – played against her when she used to play for domestic cricket. She always carried a great confidence and the perfect body language required for a batsman. She had aggression in her batting which she maintained throughout making the bowlers nervous

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Kasturi Kolte lives in Pune, Maharashtra, India and has worked in IT for the past 15 years.Kasturi is a very passionate sports ...
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Q: On the 23 November 1985 I made my Sydney Grade Cricket debut playing for Western Suburbs 3rd Grade against North Sydney at Blick Oval. 109 runs and a win and life in Sydney was off to a good start. 8 days prior I’d finished the HSC in Armidale in Northern NSW.

Next game we played Northern District at Blick, and I was run out for 27 and it was my last game at Blick Oval.

But now 38 years later I’m back baby.

Tomorrow, round one of the 2023-24 NSW Premier Cricket season and I’ve got the privilege of skippering Western Suburbs 3rd grade against Hawkesbury at Blick Oval.

The past 2 seasons I've captained Western Suburbs 2nds and now I’m returning to where it all started.

I can’t be sure, but I really don’t think much has changed, a coat of paint in the dressing sheds perhaps.

Whilst the excitement and nervous energy of starting a new season is not as high as it once was, it’s great to be still playing and hopefully contributing.

The game is a lot younger these days and why I believe it’s so important to have as many experienced players as possible supporting and helping the youngsters.

It’s terrific to see several players in their 50s out on the park, challenging themselves and guiding the youngsters.

Tony Clark at Bankstown, Phil Melville at Northern District and Steve Wark at St George are incredibly into their 5th decade of continual grade cricket. I, along with Simon Waddington at Manly, Brett James at Sutherland, Mark Lewis at Western Suburbs, Matt Lewis and Trevor Whittall at Campbelltown have all had a spell and returned. There may well be others in their 50s playing NSW Premier Cricket and apologise if I’ve missed including you. I also know of many others contributing greatly I country cricket NSW.

It starts again tomorrow. In 1985 I needed a Gregory’s to get to Blick. Hopefully the lads will stick around for a beer or soft drink after the game. Giddy up, cricket is back.
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Q: Jason Swift played first class cricket for the Canberra Comets, he won a premiership in NSW Premier Cricket and is now a Match Referee for the England and Wales Cricket Board.

JJ Swift is one of the games characters, a funny man and a highly respected team mate to all who played with him.

What’s been your most memorable moment in cricket?

My last game of grade cricket! Winning the first grade title with Easts in 2003/04. An amazing game to win after being 5-15 on the first morning.

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Jason Swift played first class cricket for the Canberra Comets, he won a premiership in NSW Premier Cricket and is now a Match Referee for the England and Wales Cricket Board.JJ Swift is one ...
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Q: At the end of May 2023 Mac Jenkins embarked on a journey to India to deliver cricket programs to young kids.

For 10 days Mac helped, guided, and supported the young children and found himself learning so much more.

Tell us about your recent trip to India?

I travelled to India, specifically Delhi and Ghaziabad to deliver cricket programs and activities to underprivileged children in the Delhi NCR region.

During my time there I set up base and ran clinics at the Seva Group Foundation, which is an NGO (Non-Government Organisation) that works for children who are orphaned, abandoned, or whose families are unable to care for them.

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At the end of May 2023 Mac Jenkins embarked on a journey to India to deliver cricket programs to young kids.For 10 days Mac helped, guided, and supported the young children and found himself ...
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Q: Pencil had been scoring for Wests Firsts since he was 13. It was customary at Western Suburbs to be awarded your First Grade cap after you’d played 3 first grade games for the club. Pencil, was more than a scorer, and quite rightly wore his first grade cap No. 447 with a great deal of pride.

On many occasions as the captain indicated we were batting, I’d pack up my keeping gloves and head up to the scorer’s box and sit with Pencil. I'd watch him prepare for the day ahead. It was a work of art, everything in order and 447 sitting on top..

In what I remember to be my 2nd or 3rd game in Firsts, we’d been in the field for an hour or so, when I experienced a “what the f…..” moment as I noticed Pencil walking around the ground with no pen or paper - he was strolling, free as a bird.

For those who don’t know Pratten Park, the scorer’s box is about mid-wicket and some 15 metres from the boundary. It’d be a good 6 – 7-minute walk... about two overs.

I made a gesture to first slip..... “he never misses a thing” was the reply.. He was that good.

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Q: Andrew Inwood is the Global CEO of CoreData and a passionate cricket fan. Tell us a little about the business and the service it provides the community.

CoreData is a research and consultancy business which focusses on banking, superannuation and asset management. Our job is to take the data from the markets, the customers and consumers and derive meaning from it. It’s my stated goal to help my customers grow and to help consumers make better decisions about money.

Who are the 3 cricketers from any era you’d like to invite to a BBQ?

You’d have to have Keith Miller there – for a yarn – it would be great just to listen to him, Shane Warne would be an absolute laugh – he’d have enough stories for a movie or two and Ian Botham. That would be a great BBQ.

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Andrew Inwood is the Global CEO of CoreData and a passionate cricket fan.Let’ ...
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Q: I see batters using the squirrel grip on their bats in NSW Premier Cricket. Is someone able to help me understand what the benefit is?
A: Hi Mark

I was intrigued by your question as I too would like to know more about the squirrel grip.

I reached out to one of the players I know who uses it in NSW premier Cricket and this was their feedback.


Hey mate,

Everyone would have a slightly different reason for the squirrel.

My initial reason was to close my face slightly as a left hander, I had a very open blade and at the time wanted to focus on batting long periods.

It is used for my top hand (most use it for bottom hand) I place the V of my top hand on the squirrel and then almost pincer grip my bottom hand.

I have found this gave me better access to hitting the ball straight down the ground.

It is glued on and can be glued on at different positions on the handle, I have mine .5 of an inch off centre to the right.
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Q: Paul Rofe made his first-class debut for South Australia during the 2000-01 season.

In 70 first class games Rofe took 218 wickets at an average of 31.66 with best figures of 7 for 52. He took 5 wickets in an innings on 8 occasions.

Rofe played 41 Limited Over games taking 41 wickets at an average of 34.09 with best figures of 3 for 23.

Paul Rofe played for East Torrens District Cricket Club and Adelaide Cricket Club in South Australian Premier Cricket.

What were your strengths as a player?

I was always very fit and bowled the same pace in the 1st and last over of the game. I went 50 straight 1st class games without an injury, so the team relied on me a lot during that era. It was a lot of fun and I always enjoyed being the workhorse, knowing I would be called on to bowl a large percentage of the overs.

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Paul Rofe made his first-class debut for South Australia during the 2000-01 season.In 70 first class games Rofe took 218 wickets at an average of 31.66 with best figures of 7 for 52. He took ...
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Q: Apart from trying to hit the ball harder how do I get more power in my batting to hit the ball through the field. I’m 17 and wanting to play grade cricket this season.
A: Along with Bryan's terrific feedback there are a number of technical aspects of batting that will help you generate more power and timing in your shots.

Firstly, it’s important you’re holding the bat correctly. Here’s some good advice from a previous question about batting grips -

Also, I found this cool video from Tom Scollay at Cricket Mentoring that might also help.

Best of luck making the grade team this season.

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Q: Our son played under 14 representative cricket last season and did trial for a club’s green shield team for this season. Unfortunately, he missed out but a number of his team mates made the squad.
A few parents of the kids have been persistent with wanting our son to play green shield with them and it’s upsetting him as the coaches of the club have said the squads have been selected.
What should we do to help him?
A: Firstly, please continue to encourage your son and let him know he has his whole career and journey in front of him. He is only 14 and as hard as it is to accept, it sounds like he will have another opportunity to play green shield next season.
The most important people to listen to at the club are the coaches and selectors of the green shield team. The green shield competition is a very competitive competition in NSW Premier Cricket and each club is managed and have coaches in positions who know cricket.
Make sure you ask the coaches for feedback on what your son needs to work on to improve his game. It may be quite simple, and he may have missed out on the squad for team balance and therefore not his ability.
I suggest it might be wise to listen to other parents with caution. If they’re not part of the management of the club, a coach or selector and despite what are hopefully good intentions they have no influence over team selections.
Follow the direction and advice of the coaches and club. They’ll be willing to help.
There will always be other teams your son can play in to score lots of runs, takes lot of wickets or dismissals if he’s a wicket keeper. He might be a bit nervous playing with new team mates but cricket always has good people involved and he’ll soon start to enjoy himself.
Please harness his desire to play, improve and enjoy his cricket. If you need further advice or guidance, please don’t hesitate to make contact.
All the best to you and your son. Good luck.
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Q: David Dillon grew up in the bush in NSW and followed his father’s footsteps to play for Western Suburbs in Sydney Grade Cricket.

He’s cricketing journey has had many travels and as one of his team mates from Bathurst has said, “In another life, he would’ve been a great author. The often humorous and much-loved team man, David Dillon.

What was the best thing about growing in Bathurst and playing senior cricket against the older guys?

I remember playing 6th Grade in Bathurst against men when I was 13 on ant-bed pitches with coir matting at the Showground. Blokes like Scotchy Armstrong, Snags O’Conner and on our side, we had the dynamic pair of Barry Quigs and Ronny Croucher, who had their own version of caught Marsh bowled Lillie. After initially being terrified, by these were big physically imposing blokes, you soon realised that you could compete and that was the bit I loved the most. Competing against the men gave you a huge amount of confidence when you went back to juniors. The sound of a big loud “Howzaat” from men was so different to the squeaky U13 version, so you feel the extra pressure and men play smarter.

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David Dillon grew up in the bush in NSW and followed his father’s footsteps to play for Western Suburbs in Sydney Grade Cricket.He’s cricketing journey has had many travels and as one of ...
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Q: When you consider Phil Wells scored 10,025 runs at an average of 42.12 and was a member of 5 premiership winning teams you’d have to say he was mightily unlucky not to have played first class cricket for NSW.

Phil scored 21 hundreds and 55 half centuries in 294 innings from 2005 to 2019

Let’s find out more about the little run machine.

Who are the 3 best spinners you’ve played against in NSW Premier Cricket?

Greg Matthews, Anthony Kershler, Stuart MacGill

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When you consider Phil Wells scored 10,025 runs at an average of 42.12 and was a member of 5 premiership winning teams you’d have to say he was mightily unlucky not to have played first class cri ...
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Q: Cricket can be the loneliest of all team sports. Yes, you’re part of a team but when you break it down it’s simply one bowler against one batter surrounded by 10 others whose sole objective is to remove the batter from his cherished position.

The batter job is to blunt the bowler, preserve their wicket and score runs on behalf of their batting partner at the other end and 9 team mates watching from the sidelines.

For cricket fans, it’s theatre and can be a show you don’t dare miss.

I asked a cricket fan to choose the one bowler from any era they’d like to see take on one batter from any era.

Their answer was – Allan Donald v Steve Smith.

What a match up that would be, and there’s been so many memorable match ups throughout the years

In asking others the same question, there are some fascinating responses. Let’s take a look.

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Q: Neil Maxwell made his first grade debut for Northern District in 1985 and has since gone on an incredible cricket journey.

As an all-rounder Neil played 35 first class and 27 one day cricket games for Victoria and NSW. He played for Australia A against the West Indies and has represented Fiji, the country of his birth on numerous occasions.

Off the field cricket Neil’s contribution to cricket has been extensive. His business, marketing and entrepreneurial skills are very highly regarded in Australia and Internationally and he is currently the Chairman of Sydney Cricket Club.

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Q: We have a young wicket keeper in our club who moves really well to his left but struggles moving to his right. Last season he missed a few catches with the balls going between himself and first slip off right hander batters. He didn’t have the same problem with left hand batters.
Can we ask what training drill we could help him with leading into this season?
A: Hi Tim

I agree 100% with Tim E feedback.

Two quick things you could look out for with your keeper especially if he has one leg stronger and more dominant than the other.

1. When the bowler bowls the ball check to see if the keeper makes any initial commitment to the left with his left foot before his moves to the right.

If his first step is to the left and he could be locking himself into a position which makes it harder to go right and extend further to take what could be considered regulation catches.

He may not be aware of his first step.

2. Check his stance and feet to see if they’re parallel straight down the wicket to the bowler or if they’re pointing slightly to the right of the bowlers left shoulder and the right of mid-off. If he’s having trouble moving to the right, it may help generate the movement and power he needs.
The opposite can apply for a left-hand batter.

As Tim mentioned, footwork is critical and please keep encouraging your keepers.
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Q: My son is only 12 and I’d like to ask about the best way to teach him how to hold a cricket bat.
Also, should he backlift be straight towards the wicket keeper or on an angle towards the slips. Thank you
A: The best way to teach a young player how to hold a cricket bat is to lay the bat face down on the ground.

Ask your son to form a v shape between the thump and forefinger of both hands and pick the bat up. If he is a right-handed batter, his right hand will be on the bottom and left hand at the top.

He can line his grip up with the spine of the bat. If he is right-handed move both hands (the v shape) fractionally to the left. If left-handed move fractionally to the right.

That’s the traditional grip and a great place to start.

Now ask your son to take his batting stance keep the same grip. His back lift, and it’s only a personal opinion, should be towards say 2nd slip.

This will allow him to play both off and leg side shots and keep the bat relatively straight at such a young age.

There are many videos available on YouTube to help – this one by former England batter Mark Ramprakash I found to be quite useful

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Q: Clint Keble started his cricket journey in Frankston as an 8-year-old and some 45 years later he still loves the game and contributes greatly on and off the field.

He played first grade premier cricket in Victoria for Frankston Peninsula Cricket Club and Hawthorn Waverley Cricket Club. In 22 first grade games for the two clubs, he scored 399 runs at an average of 21with the highest score of 56 not out. He also took 4 wickets at 26.50.

We’ll learn more about where Clint has played throughout his journey but it’s important to acknowledge his terrific contribution to Toombul District Cricket Club in Queensland Premier Cricket. Clint is Toombul DCC 4th grade captain and his experience, knowledge, communication skills and competitiveness is so important to the development of younger players.

Clint also plays Veterans Cricket for Queensland.

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Clint Keble started his cricket journey in Frankston as an 8-year-old and some 45 years later he still loves the game and contributes greatly on and off the field.He played first grade premi ...
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Q: Michael Nalesnyik is a Mortgage Broker and the Director of Loan Market at Bendigo and Macedon Ranges in Victoria.

Michael played Premier Cricket in Victoria for South Melbourne (3 seasons), Melbourne University (5 seasons) and Footscray (2 seasons).

From 2003-04 to 2014-15, Michael played 87 first grade games across the 3 clubs scoring 967 runs at an average of 13.43 with his highest score 69.

With the ball Michael bowled 1,852 overs taking 61 wickets at 30.36 with best figures of 4 for 8.

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Michael Nalesnyik is a Mortgage Broker and the Director of Loan Market at Bendigo and Macedon Ranges in Victoria.Michael played Premier Cricket in Victoria for South Melbourne (3 seasons), M ...
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Q: In 2014 Wisden Cricket Almanack picked their 5 greatest women cricketers, Belinda Clark was selected.

Belinda Clark was born in Newcastle, NSW, and the third of four children in a very active and sporting family. Belinda is often referred to as one of the pioneers on Women’s Cricket around the world.

In 2011 Belinda became the 2nd women to be inducted in the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame and in 2014 she became the first women to be inducted into Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

In 2018 Belinda was awarded an Order of Australia medal. The best Australian Women’s International Cricketer of the year is named in her honour ‘Belinda Clark Medal’

Belinda Clark scored 919 runs in 15 Test matches for Australia at an average of 45.95 and hit 2 centuries and 6 half centuries. She scored a century on her Test debut in 1991 against India. Belinda is Australian Women’s Test player number 119.

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Q: Jim Robson, “Jungle” to all, has been involved in cricket in Sydney since he arrived from Goulburn back in 1974.

Jungle’s played cricket for University of NSW for 32 years, he was a NSW selector and for 16 years he was the manager of the SCG Indoor Cricket Centre. He also has two sons who can play the game.

Jungle played first grade cricket for UNSW from 1974 to 1996 scoring 8,567 runs at an average of 30.37 including 6 centuries and 45 half-centuries. He also took 186 wickets. In all grades Jungle scored 13,616 for UNSW.

Jim also plays Veterans Cricket and recently toured New Zealand with the NSW Over 60s team.

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Jim Robson, “Jungle” to all, has been involved in cricket in Sydney since he arrived from Goulburn back in 1974.Jungle’s played cricket for University of NSW for 32 years, he was a NSW ...
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Q: Phil Melville arrived in Sydney from Armidale in Northern NSW in 1989 to play Sydney Grade Cricket for Mosman Cricket Club. 34 years on and Phil continues to take wickets in both grade and veteran’s cricket.

Leading into the 2023/24 Phil has taken 710 grade wickets in Sydney. He took 440 wickets for Mosman Cricket Club and so far, has taken 270 wickets for Northern District Cricket Club.

Phil is a prominent member of Over 50s cricket in Australia and the very proud owner of NSW Blues cap number 30 and Australian Over 50s cap number 49.

Phil was selected in the Australian Over 50s World Cup team to your South Africa that was sadly cut short after a couple of games due to Covid.

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Phil Melville arrived in Sydney from Armidale in Northern NSW in 1989 to play Sydney Grade Cricket for Mosman Cricket Club. 34 years on and Phil continues to take wick ...
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Q: NSW Combined Catholic Colleges cricket team - 1985

Back Row – Michael Kemp (Assistant Manager), Adam Johnson, Grant Doorey, Andrew Shaw, Craig Culnane, Anthony Waddell, John Saint, Brother Bernard (Manager)
Front Row – Paul Foster, Andrew Fitzhenry, Michael Chee Quee (Vice-Captain), Paul Ryan (Captain), Brett Elliott, Stephen Dignam, Silvano Ciaschetti
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Q: One of the key ingredients in the art of captaincy is to ask questions and challenge the opposing captain and team into doing things they otherwise wouldn’t normally do.

The Ashes series between Australia and England is two days into the 4th test, and I’ve been fascinated by how Ben Stokes, as England captain, has got into the minds of Australia.

Forget Bazball, it’s Ben Stokes.

Australia is playing unrecognisable Australian cricket.

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One of the key ingredients in the art of captaincy is to ask questions and challenge the opposing captain and team into doing things they otherwise wouldn’t normally d ...
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Q: I only remember Australian batters like Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, and Michael Clarke all walking off the field relatively quickly after they'd been dismissed.

Of course, they'd have been disappointed and frustrated at not being able to score more runs. It was their job and what they trained so hard to do.

But for whatever reason, they made a mistake, received a good ball, got mixed up on a silly run out or were on the wrong end of a dubious decision; that's cricket. It's part of the game.

What is also part of the game is when your turn to bat has ended, walk off the field quickly as it's now an opportunity for your team mate to take strike and score runs.

This may sound a little obscure, but my reasoning stems from observing the 'slow walk-off' from a couple of the Australian batters after they've been dismissed.

Are they any more disappointed and frustrated than their predecessors? I doubt it.

Hopefully, the 'slow walk off' doesn't become the norm for men, women, boys, and girls in state, premier, club, community, and junior cricket.

As a good mate used to share with the batter who'd just been dismissed, "off you pop."
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Q: Ranbir Singh was born into a family of cricket fans in India before moving to the United Kingdom firstly as a player but now as an accredited umpire with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

He’s an Automotive Engineer by profession but has a deep love of cricket, it’s tradition and the many of life lessons he’s learned from being involved in the game.

Cricket is an incredible game and teaches us lessons that help us prepare for life's challenges. Stay calm, the game of cricket is full of pressure moments stay calm and execute your skills. When everyone's losing their head, keep yours. Take It one ball at a time, don't get ahead of yourself in cricket or in life. Complacency there is no place for it, never underestimate your competition

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Ranbir Singh was born into a family of cricket fans in India before moving to the United Kingdom firstly as a player but now as an accredited umpire with the England and Wales Cricket Board.  ...
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Q: What’s your Australian Test team for the 4th Ashes test at Old Trafford.

Here’s mine

Khawaja
Labuschagne
Smith
Head
Marsh
Green
Carey
Neser
Cummins
Starc
Murphy

Warner has been a wonderful player, but his time has come. He has been lucky that he is playing in an era where there are no Australian batsmen outside the top 6 who average 40 in first class cricket.

I would consider opening with Green as I’m conscious Justin Langer started opening in similar circumstances and other players who were pushed up the order through necessity and opportunity include David Boon, Shane Watson, Simon Katich and Usman Khawaja. I would keep Head and Marsh in the middle order.

I would hope Green doesn’t listen to his captain and coach if they tell him to bowl 6 short balls an over.

Hazelwood is unlucky but Neser’s form is irresistible.

I think Murphy is a great prospect but if he is not effective at Old Trafford I would consider drafting in Maxwell for The Oval.

What’s your team?
A: Hey Dean,

I like your thought process but call me crazy, for this test I’m sticking with Warner. You’re 100% right though, no one is averaging 40 or more and knocking the door down to replace him.

If Warner’s not going to play, then I’d choose Renshaw.

Warner needs to clear his mind as does Labuschagne.

I’m confused as to how the bowlers have been used so far so I’d look at Marsh and Green to back up two quicks and then choose Murphy. Why he only bowled 2 overs in the 2nd innings of the 3rd test was confusing.

If the skipper lacks confidence in Murphy and and I cant see why he would, the way the series has been played I’d be drafting Maxwell into the team.

Warner/ Renshaw
Khawaja
Labuschagne
Smith
Head
Marsh
Green
Carey
Cummins
Starc
Murphy/ Maxwell. If Maxwell, he bats 8 and Carey moves to 9.
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Q: Recently I was asked how a team, club or association can be more professional and build the standards and culture to be more successful.

In my opinion, irrespective of the standard or level of cricket or the purpose for which people play, everything starts at the selection table.

Suppose the selectors of a cricket team select the players they believe will act and perform in the team's best interest. In that case, the desired outcomes of professionalism and standards sort themselves out.

Problems start, fester and can cause untold issues when selectors bow to self-interest, agendas, politics, or anything other than selecting players on performance or outside the purpose of the team and its ambition.

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Recently I was asked how a team, club or association can be more professional and build the standards and culture to be more successful.It is a great question and one I'm sure where we all h ...
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Q: In the first innings of the 3rd Test Cummins had the confidence to give Murphy the ball when Stokes was in full flight and I thought he did well under pressure dismissing Stokes and taking 1 for 36 off 7.3 overs.

I’m really intrigued as to why Murphy only bowled 2 overs in the 2nd innings and now why are people seemingly ruling him out of the 4th Test and for Australia not to have a frontline spinner?
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Q: Tom Shiner, right arm leg spinner. A character, competitor, irreverent, a magician and the Charlie Chaplin of Sydney Grade Cricket of the 1980s and 90s.

I had the good fortune to play against Tommy and enjoyed the battle immensely. I had the greater fortune of playing with Tommy at Western Suburbs in 1992/93 and 1993/94.

Keeping to Tom was fun. He could bowl all the balls the very best leg spinners speak of. He’s accuracy, pace, spin and zip off the wicket, fooled many and often.

Many speak of Tom talent and performances and how unlucky he was not to play for NSW. Cricket can or does have a funny way of bracketing or typecasting players. Could he have trained harder and worked on his batting and fielding more? Of course he could’ve, but give him the ball and ask him “can we win”….. “just give me the f&^%ing ball, “ and he’d waddle in and deliver.

It would seem Tommy got better with age and as he hit 30, maybe cricket was not a high priority but I would have loved to seen him given the opportunity to play under captains like Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor or Dirk Wellham in first class cricket.

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Q: On Sunday 9 July 2023, the NSW Over 50s and 55s pre-season cricket squads trained at the Carl Sharpe Cricket Centre at Wade Park in Orange.

The indoor centre opened in November 2020 is a terrific facility and one of the best I’ve seen in NSW. The lighting is excellent, the run ups for the bowlers is very accommodating and there’s plenty of room for some small fielding drills as well.

If any clubs, academies, teams from Sydney or in regional areas of NSW are looking for a preseason weekend away to train and build momentum heading into a season, I highly recommend Orange and the Carl Sharpe Cricket Centre.
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Q: When asked about his most memorable moments in grade cricket Kersh responds simply, “it’s the friendships and still being in touch with mates I’ve met throughout 30 plus years of playing in Sydney. “

Anthony Kershler played his first-grade game in 1984 as a 15-year-old in Balmain’s 4th-grade team against Penrith at Rance Oval, Werrington near Penrith. He was the left arm off-spinner and his wicketkeeper on the day was a young Mark Atkinson. “Atko” went on to forge a tremendous first-class career in Australia playing 94 Sheffield Shield games for Tasmania.

“Kersh” as he was affectionately known played 421 first grade games in Sydney Grade (NSW Premier) Cricket and retired at the age of 46 in December 2015.

He took 742 wickets at an average of 25.06. He bowled 6485 overs, 1547 maidens and took 18, 5 wicket hauls. His best was 7 for 22.

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Q: Back to Sunday 31st March and it’s 8.00am and Whooly arrives at Bankstown Oval for what is the last day of the NSW Premier Cricket Season, the Grand Final.

Michael Wholohan had been Penrith’s Club Coach since 2003 and their First Grade team had not won the Belvedere Cup (Premiership) since 1982-83, some 36 years.

The NSW Premier Cricket Grand Final is played over 3 days.

For the first two days, Penrith and Sydney University had played tough cricket. Sydney University had been bowled out for 207 and at the end of day 2, Penrith had just passed their score but had lost 9 wickets.

With 90 overs still to play, the final was still in the balance and the game of cricket has a funny way of playing tricks on players’ minds.

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At 1.30am on Sunday 31 March 2019 and the coach couldn’t sleep. He was anxious, nervous, and unsettled. He decides the best course of action was to burn off some energy and heads off on what beca ...
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Q: In season 1999-2000 my good fortune was elevated when Scott Thompson decided to leave Bankstown and join St George. I’d been at St George since 1994/95 and when Thommo joined the Dragons I was the lucky first grade captain.

When Thommo joined St George he’d already played first class cricket for NSW and won 4 premierships with Bankstown.

Fast bowler, dynamic batsman, athlete, competitive, professional and a winner. Thommo influence over young cricketers and people such as Graeme Rummans, Nathan Pilon, Brett Van Diensen, Nathan Catalano, James Turner, Chadd Porter, Peter Wooden, Brendan Hill, Paul Pratt, Jon Shaw, Hamish Solomons and many others can never be understated. The boys absolutely loved him, so did I.

In Thommo's first season with St George, we won the 1999/2000 Limited Overs competition. We unfortunately lost the Belvedere Cup Final against Bankstown in the same however we went one better the following season when we defeated Waverley (Eastern Suburbs) to be the 2000/01 Premiers.

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Q: Carey stumps Bairstow and the Spirit of Cricket

In almost every game of cricket at any level around the world, you will see a wicket keeper standing back to the fast and medium pace bowlers. At some stage during an innings, the wicket keeper will take the ball the batter either let's go or misses and, in the same motion under arm it back towards the stumps in the hope the batter is out of their crease.

It's been happening since the game began and every wicket keeper, including all our favourite test keepers, have done it at some stage.

Why now, when Alex Carey, in the same motion, does it in a test match for Australia against England and Jonny Bairstow strangely walks out of his crease and is run out are some people so upset and screaming from the rooftops?

A: I'd suggest case closed

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Q: Carey stumps Bairstow and the Spirit of Cricket

In almost every game of cricket at any level around the world, you will see a wicket keeper standing back to the fast and medium pace bowlers. At some stage during an innings, the wicket keeper will take the ball the batter either let's go or misses and, in the same motion under arm it back towards the stumps in the hope the batter is out of their crease.

It's been happening since the game began and every wicket keeper, including all our favourite test keepers, have done it at some stage.

Why now, when Alex Carey, in the same motion, does it in a test match for Australia against England and Jonny Bairstow strangely walks out of his crease and is run out are some people so upset and screaming from the rooftops?

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In almost every game of cricket at any level around the world, you will see a wicket keeper standing back to the fast and medium pace bowlers. At some stage during an innings, the wicket keeper wil ...
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Q: Damien Meek - never give up

Mateship! If you think you can’t, prove you can’t by making it….because you can……..I did

It meant that you can obtain your dream. Even if your dream had been modified since 12 years old and the team you made is the Over 50s. I believe that it worth more. More because I managed to hold on to that dream, chase it down, staying fit, focused all that way. When I got it, I just cried, cried in front of selectors and my wife who pushed me.

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NSW Over 50s v Queensland Over 50s in the Australian National Championships in Adelaide on 24 November 2022.The rules in the Over 50s National Championships stipulates batters have to retire ...
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Q: As the pre-season training schedules were being planned for the 1996/97, Petersham like all Premier Clubs did and do, contacted their players to check if they were ready for the pre-season.

It was during the call to Greeny when he informed the caller, he was transferring to St George when he was told “you’ll never play higher than 5th grade there. “

Fast forward for 17 seasons and Steve Green decided to retire after the 2012/13 first grade grand final between St George and Sutherland.

He retired with a tremendous sense of pride and satisfaction. He played 202 first grade games for St George and took 383 wickets at an average of 19.3 including 17 x 5 wicket hauls. He is also a 4-time premiership-winning player, a Life Member and achieved one of the most celebrated careers at the St George District Cricket Club.

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Why would you go to St George, you’ll never play higher than 5th grade there?”That was the question and statement from a Pe ...
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Q: Ed Cowan made his first-class debut for Oxford Marylebone Cricket Club University against Middlesex in April 2003 and in a 15-year first-class career he played 143 games scoring 10,097 runs at an average of 41.81 including 25 centuries and 48 half-centuries. Highest score of 225.

He played for Australia, Australia A, British Universities, Gloucestershire, New South Wales, Nottinghamshire, Oxford MCCU, Sydney Sixers, Tasmania

Cowan is the proud owner of Australian test Cricketer No 427 and played 18 Tests. He scored 1,001 runs at an average of 31.58 with his highest score 136 being his only test century. He scored 6 half-centuries for Australia.

Over time one of Ed Cowan greatest strengths was how well his knew his game. It’s fair to say it served him very well as his successful career would indicate.

In June 2013 before the Ashes tour in England Ed took the time to provide an insight in a video with Australian Cricketers Association into his approach to batting and the mental battle batsmen face every time they take guard.

Great coaching and an insightful tool for cricketers at any level.

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Ed Cowan made his first-class debut for Oxford Marylebone Cricket Club University against Middlesex in April 2003 and in a 15-year first-class career he played 143 games scoring 10,097 runs at an a ...
answered
Q: I'd love to get people's feedback on the coin toss in Test cricket. With all the discussion about pitch preparation and local captains requesting preferable home team pitch conditions what if they did away with the coin toss and allowed the away team to choose whether they wanted to bat or bowl first?
A: Hey Rob, I'm very much a traditionalist but don't mind your thinking.

The coin toss adds to the theatre but I think it's an initiative that could be trialed for a series over 3 Tests and let's see how it works.
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Q: Who are the captains, coaches and leaders in cricket, sport, business or any field of life you admire and relate to most in terms of their achievements, respect and what they stand for?
If you’d like to mention why, please do.
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Q: Leadership is the most essential ingredient to the success of any team, or club. A strong leadership group can create the culture and standards in which they believe will best suit the team and club.

It’s imperative however everyone within the leadership group lives and breathes the culture and standards set because players, coaches, volunteers, and administrators within club will feed off their actions and behaviours. If anyone within the leadership group isn’t operating within the standards and or culture, it’s difficult to assume or expect everyone else within the team or club to do so.

I’ve always believed the most important influencers and drivers within a club are the President, the Coach, and the Captain of the clubs highest playing team in the club.

If it’s a community cricket club and there’s not a coach involved, it could be the President and the clubs highest playing team’s Captain and Wicket Keeper. The Wicket Keeper in the team should reflect the values of the culture of the club and sets the standards in the field.

The communication of culture and standards to all players and members of the club is vital for any success. People love to know their roles and how they can help, influence, and perform to their very best.

A lack of communication and self-interest can easily undo all efforts to build culture and standards.

What’s the right leadership and culture?

That’s the beauty of leadership and culture, it can vary from club to another and one team to another. What works for one group may not work for another.

Most importantly, the influencers and drivers need to identify opportunities, ambition, personalities, wellbeing, and skills of the people within the team and club and then be proactive to ensure inclusiveness and create their leadership group.

From there the leadership group can develop and communicate the desired standards. The culture will evolve and be a whole lot of fun and memorable for all involved and if a club, team, and a business can get it right.

Pictured : Christina Matthews - CEO of Western Australia Cricket and Adam Voges - Coach of Western Australian and Perth Scorchers. WA and the Scorches have created a terrific culture across the first class and T20 formats
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Q: How important is leadership and culture to a winning team or club and who would be considered the important influencers and drivers within a club?
A: Leadership is the most essential ingredient to the success of any team, or club. A strong leadership group can create the culture and standards in which they believe will best suit the team and club.

It’s imperative however everyone within the leadership group lives and breathes the culture and standards set because players, coaches, volunteers, and administrators within club will feed off their actions and behaviours. If anyone within the leadership group isn’t operating within the standards and or culture, it’s difficult to assume or expect everyone else within the team or club to do so.

I’ve always believed the most important influencers and drivers within a club are the President, the Coach, and the Captain of the clubs highest playing team in the club.

If it’s a community cricket club and there’s not a coach involved, it could be the President and the clubs highest playing team’s Captain and Wicket Keeper. The Wicket Keeper in the team should reflect the values of the culture of the club and sets the standards in the field.

The communication of culture and standards to all players and members of the club is vital for any success. People love to know their roles and how they can help, influence, and perform to their very best.

A lack of communication and self-interest can easily undo all efforts to build culture and standards.

What’s the right leadership and culture?

That’s the beauty of leadership and culture, it can vary from club to another and one team to another. What works for one group may not work for another.

Most importantly, the influencers and drivers need to identify opportunities, ambition, personalities, wellbeing, and skills of the people within the team and club and then be proactive to ensure inclusiveness and create their leadership group.

From there the leadership group can develop and communicate the desired standards. The culture will evolve and be a whole lot of fun and memorable for all involved and if a club, team, and a business can get it right.

Best of luck Mike.
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Q: Sydney Grade Cricket 1980-81 semi finals and final

Sydney Grade Cricket semi finals and finals scorecards for the 1980-81. Pictured is UNSW Captain Mark Ray leading his team off after defeating Northern Districts in the final

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Sydney Grade Cricket semi finals and finals scorecards for the 1980-81. Pictured is UNSW Captain Mark Ray leading his team off after defeating Northern Districts in the ...
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Q: Shane Duff - Rugby League, Cricket and Horse Racing

Growing up it was Rugby League in the winter and Cricket in the summer. For a talented halfback, wicket keeper/batsman Shane Duff was creating the opportunities many aspire to.

In the early part of the cricket season in 1990 and at the age of 18 he made his first-grade debut for Sutherland Cricket Club team when their regular keeper Evan Atkins suffered a broken arm. His first dismissal was one to remember as it was an edge from another wicket/batsman, a young Adam Gilchrist playing for Gordon Cricket Club.

Just before Christmas, an opportunity presented itself and Shane had a decision to make. After only a handful of first-grade cricket games, Shane decided to put his keeping gloves back in his kit bag as he’d been signed by the famous St George Rugby League Club. Pre-season training beckoned.

Brian Smith had just signed with St George as coach and Shane simply thought, “I’ve got to give this a go.”

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Growing up it was Rugby League in the winter and Cricket in the summer. For a talented halfback, wicket keeper/batsman Shane Duff was creating the opportunities many aspire to.In the early p ...
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Q: Chris Titley was a wicket keeper batsman who made his debut for Western Suburbs in 3rd grade in 1998/99 as a 17 year old.

He made a valuable contribution to the club on and off the field and always played the game with good humour.

"Unfortunately I didn’t make Wests 1st grade. I was robbed by 2 blokes who I’ve never spoken too since and intend never to speak to. Cameron McLeod and Anthony Cavanough. I believe Cam was adviser to Rowelly (Greg Rowell) in his Lord Mayor bid at the time so that figures. Cav robbed me of many representative teams along the way as well. "

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Chris Titley was a wicket keeper batsman who made his debut for Western Suburbs in 3rd grade in 1998/99 as a 17 year old.He made a valuable contribution to the club on and off the field and ...
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Q: An opportunity has become available for a fast bowler or bowling allrounder who’d like to play some cricket in Scotland leading into the 2023-24 cricket season.
The current professional at Greenock Cricket club in Scotland has sadly suffered a season-ending injury and the club is looking for a new professional as soon as possible.
The club is prepared to cover the costs of return airfares, accommodation and pay 120 pounds a week.
Greenock understands the needs of players to be back in Australian late August or early September to prepare for their own season ahead.
If you’re interested, please send an email to hello@cricconnect.com
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Q: I’m 18 and opening the bowling and want to have a big offseason to improve. What do people recommend as the balls I need to work on and perfect?
A: Hi Adrian

This is a really good piece by the Pace Doctor where former fast bowlers and very experienced coaches and analysts Marc Portus and Stuart Karppinen outline a fitness program for fast bowlers.

As well as training hard perfecting the deliveries, being strong in run up and delivery stride will help your bowling

I hope it helps



Cheers
Paul
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Q: Andrew Zell epitomises the life of a country cricketer in regional NSW. A passionate and talented player who for a variety of reasons doesn’t head to the big smoke but equally dedicated to the game.

Andrew start his cricket at Biddon-Toora Cricket Club before joining South Dubbo Cricket Club in the mid 1990s and for 10 or so years was instrumental in their clubs success.

A much travelled player, it’s been a tremendous journey and it’s great to see his passion for the game is as strong as ever.

Let’s find out more about Andrew Zell.

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Andrew Zell epitomises the life of a country cricketer in regional NSW. A passionate and talented player who for a variety of reasons doesn’t head to the big smoke but equally dedicated to the ga ...
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Q: Test cricket at his best, well played Australia, and England.

The twists and turns in every day’s play.

The theatre. Full of character, creativity, calmness, conservatism, and coolness.

So many players stood tall, others can’t wait for the next opportunity.

People will speak of Bazball, a bold declaration and conservative captaincy but there’s one old adage that always rings true, ....'catches win matches.'

Well done to all, Australian 1 nil up. 4 Tests to play.

Cricket was the winner.
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Q: Has Bazball spooked the Australians?

Day 5 of the first test of the Ashes series will an exciting challenge for both Australia and England.

The anticipation amongst fans around the world is what test cricket is all about. Who will blink first and who will take a one nil lead in the 5-test series?

Australia needs 174 runs to win with 7 wickets in hand. Warner, Labuschagne and Smith are all back in the shed so the heavy lifting will be on the shoulders of Khawaja, Head and Carey to get Australia home.

Irrespective of the result the most surprising aspect of the test is England have for whatever reason made Australia change the way they play the game, especially with the ball in hand.
The defensive fields and the ease of which the English batters have been able to get off strike is unusual at best. Ashes Test debutant Harry Brooks was again able to play a simple defensive shot to point to get off the mark in the 2nd innings.

After two successful ramps (one six and one four) by Root off Boland early on day 4, Alex Carey came up to the stumps and a fielder was placed on the boundary just behind 2nd slip. With a deep fine leg, deep square leg, short mid-wicket and mid on there was no mid-off.

If a keeper is up to the stumps the expectation would be for the bowler to bowl full and at the stumps. A straight drive for four back down the ground is far easier than a ramp to a yorker at leg stump or a bouncer with two fielders in the deep.

Apart from Roots ramp shots, what is Bazball?

The English batters are playing with freedom and intent. They’re playing attacking cricket, good cricket shots, moving the ball into the gaps and running hard between the wickets. It’s the same as how Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden played and the same way David Warner has played during his career. England’s batters are just doing it as a collective.

With defensive fields set there’s no real need to play Bazball, four singles and a two is still 6 an over.

It seemed odd in the 2nd innings how long it took Australia to bowl a few bouncers. I know the game has changed but if a batter ramped Dennis Lillee or Glenn McGrath, can you imagine where the next 5 balls would be bowled. A deep fine leg and a deep square leg and suddenly, the batter is being asked a question or two.

England are playing cricket with intent; they’ve been proactive and asking questions. Australia can still win the Test. Fascinating cricket, catches win matches.
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Q: If a keeper bats 11 but takes 90% of the dismissals that come their way, would that justify their selection? How many runs is that worth? Why does a keeper have to bat 7 and average 35 when a bowler doesn't need to?
A: Interesting question Jim.

I’ve always believed a team should always look to select the best wicket keeper. If the keepers vying for selection are similar in skills, temperament and being a leader in the field, pick the keeper who bats the best.

A keeper who takes 90% of the opportunities presented is not only worth a lot of runs but they'll deliver tremendous confidence to the team in the field.

If the best keeper is along way in front of the others but struggles with the bat, there’s no reason they can’t bat lower in the order. It does mean though the team will need one or two of their bowlers to be scoring good and consistent runs batting 7 and 8.

Cheers.
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Q: I’ve been reading about Ben Stokes request for the groundsman in England to prepare flat and fast wickets for the Ashes series. Is this allowed?
Aren't groundsman employed to prepared without fear or favour and it seems so brazen. Is it a form of match fixing?
A: Hi Timothy,

Personally I think groundsman should be preparing wickets to the best of their ability given the prevailing conditions leading into a game. They shouldn't be listening to outside noise and maintain their professional integrity.

Cheers
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Q: Have England missed a trick by not selecting their best wicket keeper in the first test of the Ashes.

I understand Bairstow runs are important and he should be in the team but at what cost if he has the gloves on. Isn't Foakes a much better wicket keeper?
A: Ben Foakes is the best wicket keeper in England and in my opinion should be in their test team. In 20 Tests he averages 32 including 2 centuries and 4 half centuries so he can bat.
Missed opportunities with the gloves is not just about the runs and partnerships the batter goes onto to build, they can deflate the team if they're occurring on a regular basis.
I'd have Bairstow on the team as a batter.
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Q: Greg Rowell - dream big

Greg Rowell was a fast bowler who played first class cricket for New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. In 46 first class games he took 147 wickets at an average of 30.98 and in 27 one day games he took 27 wickets at 34.03.

What was the best win you were involved in?

Perth 1994/95 QLD v WA. People forget what a hard gig Perth was in the 90’s. We were behind first innings. I had never had a good game in Perth prior to that but started to get the hang of it in that game and whole team just got into the slog and we got a tight win. Great celebrations and a big moment for that group of players to grow in confidence in a memorable year.

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Greg Rowell was a fast bowler who played first class cricket for New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. In 46 first class games he took 147 wickets at an average of 30.98 and in 27 one day games ...
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Q: Day one of the first Ashes Test at Edgbastan was the first day of Ashes cricket between Australia and England since the sad passing of cricketing giant Shane Warne and I can’t help but feel his influence.

Warne passed away in March 2022 and in April 2022 his good mate Rob Key was announced as the Managing Director of England’s cricket.

You only have to listen to Key talk about Warne to know of Warne’s great influence on Key. Warne’s positivity, passion and boldness to create opportunities in life and in cricket may well have had some sway in Key’s decision to appoint Brendan McCullum England’s Test cricket coach in May 2022.

McCullum like Warne loved to play positive and attacking cricket and despite not having previously coached a team he’s rejuvenated England Test fortunes with what’s being termed ‘BazBall’.

Is it Bazball or Warnie?

Warne would have loved the way the England batters played on day one. I’m not convinced though he would’ve been happy with Australia’s strategy to counter Bazball.
Conservative field placements with a deep point and deep backward square allowed the English batters to get off strike far too easily. There was little opportunity to build pressure and it was a strategy to save boundaries from ball one. If it was Plan B or C I could understand,
For Ashes Test debutant Harry Brooks, it was a dream come true. He would’ve played over and over in his mind since his junior days about taking on the Australians. Padding up, walking out to bat, taking strike, his first ball and excitedly his first run.

For years we’ve been shown the way to seize the moments. Make batters feel uncomfortable in the hope they make a mistake.

A batter wanting to score their first run in an Ashes test I would assume is one of those moments.

Brooks came to the crease and the Aussies left deep point at deep point.

No hint of asking Brooks to make a mistake of playing a big shot to get off the mark. He played a simple defensive shot to point for one.

Would he have nervously played a big shot and being caught at point or in the slips?

We’ll never know but it would’ve been great to at least ask the question.

answered
Q: I'd like to ask how Australia could even consider leaving Scott Boland out of the first test of the ashes?
A: Boland in my opinion should easily be in the first test. Hazlewood hasn't played for some time so it would make sense to go into the first test with the same team that just defeated India. Boland bowled terrifically well and took vital top order wickets.
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Q: Walter Taylor and Dad opened the batting for Uralla in the Armidale competition before our family moved to Armidale and Dad started playing with St Peters.

From about 1958 and for many years they formed a formidable opening partnership and once shared a partnership of 305 against Waratahs on 27 January 1962. Dad’s 23rd birthday. Walter was 44.

Walter Taylor, a grazier from Kentucky, is considered one of the finest ever batsman from Northern NSW. He represented Armidale, Northern Tablelands and Northern NSW for many decades.

In 1939 he toured Tasmania with the Northern NSW team and in 1958 played for New England against a NSW touring team that included Richie Benaud.

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If Dad was still with us, he’d have loved cricconnect.He’d have loved the storytelling, reading about the achievement of others and everything to do with sport, not just cricket, in regi ...
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Q: Martin Haywood - from Canberra to the Baggy Blue

Martin Haywood is a former NSW middle-order batsman who played 13 first-class games and 10 one day games for NSW after making his debut in 1991/92.

In 300 first grade innings in Sydney Martin scored 10,035 runs at an average of 37.86 including 25 hundreds and 50 half-centuries.

Winning 2nd grade final with Mosman was up there. Playing with Shoaib Akhtar at Hurstville Oval. Winning the Sheffield Shield Final in 1993/94 against Tasmania was great fun and I have some great memories of my time playing in Scotland and England for 6 years.

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Martin Haywood is a former NSW middle-order batsman who played 13 first-class games and 10 one day games for NSW after making his debut in 1991/92.In 300 first grade innings in Sydney Martin ...
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Q: Great nicknames in Cricket

Rod Marsh nickname was Bacchus. The story behind the nickname was that it was after the town 50km Northwest of Melbourne called Bacchus Marsh. Travelling on a train with his Western Australian teammates from Adelaide to Melbourne, the train stopped at Bacchus Marsh and Ian Brayshaw promptly stated Rod, you'll now be known as Bacchus.

Nicknames for whatever reason are what we do with people’s name. Some are funny, some are subtle others are cheekily rude. Many are obvious and some are best left to the imagination.

We’ve cast the net across the cricket community for great nicknames and the stories behind them. We will continue to add new nicknames and their stories, let’s see what we caught so far.

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Q: Anthony Barranca - play hard, never give up

Anthony Barranca is a stalwart for Perth Cricket Club having played all his juniors and came through the grades to make his first-grade debut at the age of 20 in 1992-93.

Anthony played 136 first grade games for Perth Cricket Club in Western Australia Premier Cricket as a wicket keeping opening batter and he scored 3,246 first grade runs for the club.

Recently after a successful Over 50s Australian National Championships for Western Australia in Adelaide in November 2022, Anthony was selected in the Australian Over 50s World Cup team to play in the Over 50s World Cup in South Africa in March 2023.

Let’s find out more about Anthony’s journey in the game

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Anthony Barranca is a stalwart for Perth Cricket Club having played all his juniors and came through the grades to make his first-grade debut at the age of 20 in 1992-93.Anthony played 136 f ...
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Q: Austerlands Cricket Club Premiers in the Saddleworth League - 1989
A: So much fun and good people at Austerlands. Great season.
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Q: Growing up in Armidale Northern NSW in the 1970s I was like many youngsters playing backyard cricket at every opportunity and emulating my cricket heroes Ian and Greg Chappell, Rod Marsh, and Dennis Lillee.
In January 1980 at the age of 12 I was on a family holiday in Sydney and dad, and I went to the SCG to watch Australia and England in our first day night 50 over game. We sat high up in the old Sheridan Stand.
Australia batted first and scored 163. Under lights Dennis Lillee bowled first change after Jeff Thomson and Geoff Dymock and the England openers put on around 30 when Lilee came on the bowl.
He took 3 quick wickets and looking back at the old scorecard England had lost 3 for 9 and were 3 for 40 and then 4 for 51.
The crowd was going crazy chanting the famous "Lillee, Lillee, Lillee.." and he ended up taking 4 for 12 off his 10 overs before England scrapped home 8 down for 164 off 48.5 overs.
It was an incredible first up experience. I loved it.
Fast forward 12 or so years later and Lillee was doing one of his fast bowling clinics for young NSW fast bowlers at the SCG.
As a wicket keeper batter in Sydney Grade Cricket, I was invited to come along and after having a hit in the nets the fast bowlers ventured out for a centre wicket session. I did some keeping for an hour or so and then had an opportunity for another hit.
Lillee was working with the fast bowling group and after a couple of minutes batting he must've wanted to show them something and to my surprise grabbed a ball (he must’ve been 43/44 years of age), stood at the top of his mark and started running in to bowl.
It was a strange sensation. All of a sudden here I was facing up to a childhood hero bowling from the same end he was back in 1980 when the entire crowd was chanting “Lillee, Lillee, Lillee”. So surreal
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Q: NSW Under 19 Cricket team 1986-87

Back Row – Jack Wilson (Manager), Wayne Holdsworth, Craig Bayldon, Andrew Martyr, Justin Quint, Nigel Brookes, Brett Williams, Scott Prestwidge, Ted Cotton (Coach)
Front Row – Adrian Tucker, Rodney Davison, Paul Ryan (Vice Captain), Garry Lovett (Captain), Craig Haworth, Chris Fox
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Q: On the 5 April 2023 at Cricket NSW Steve Waugh Medal Awards night Steve Rixon was inducted into the Cricket NSW Hall of Fame. A terrific and richly deserved accolade.

Steve Rixon was the driver of culture and standards in NSW Cricket for the best part of 30 years

Let's find out more about Steve Rixon, the man, mate, player, coach, mentor and his influence.

Tributes from David Hourn, Rick McCosker, John Dyson, Dirk Wellham, Murray Bennett, Kepler Wessels, Steve Small, Phil Marks, Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Phil Emery, Brad McNamara, Shane Lee, Stuart MacGill

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When an elite sportsperson retires from their sport they’ll often say, “One of the things I’m most grateful for is that I got to travel the world and visit place ...
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Q: Where's Wally - St George v Manly 1999- 2000 One Day Final

It's fair to say the St George First Grade team went into the 1999/2000 One Day Competition Final against Manly with our tails well and truly between our legs.

As fate would have it, 24 hours earlier the same two teams walked through the gates at Hurstville Oval in preparation for the 2nd day of a two day game with Manly set to chase Saints first innings total of 223.

With the Grand Final the following day both teams were looking for a win and a psychological edge.

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Q: 25 January 1985 was the start of the 4 day Sheffield shield game between New South Wales and Victoria at the MCG.

After 175.2 overs Victoria were bowled out for 438 and NSW opener John Dyson strode to the crease alongside his new opening partner, debutant Wayne Seabrook.

In what many of the players involved in the game describe as one of the most dynamic debut innings in the history of Australian first class cricket Wayne Seabrook against a Victoria attack that included Merv Hughes, Simon Davis, Peter King and Ray Bright scored 165.

NSW declared at 9 for 442 and the game ended in a draw with first innings points to NSW.

Wayne played 3 more first class games before the end of the 1984/85 season and went into the off season full of hope and determination to capitalise on the opportunity to cement his position at the top of the order for NSW.

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Q: The legendary West Indian fast bowler, Wes Hall, now Sir Wesley Hall, played for the old Randwick cricket club in the 1965-66 season. It was the first time an international cricketing superstar had played in Sydney Grade Cricket. Needless to say, Wes was a real hit, taking 56 wickets, getting Randwick into the semi-finals and bringing flocks of people to view the action at Coogee Oval each Saturday. Wes subsequently returned to Randwick in 2000 as guest speaker at the club’s Centenary Dinner at Randwick Racecourse.

Earlier this year, former Randwick leg-spinner, Mark Preddey, toured West Indies with an Australian over 60s team. During the tour, he met up with Sir Wesley at Kensington Oval, Barbados, where he was signing copies of a book on his life. Mark was quickly in line to get a copy and had a wonderful chat with the great man who was delighted to learn he was an old Randwick player.

A: Terrific story and what a great thrill for Mark it would've been
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Q: NSW Combined Catholic Colleges cricket team - 1984

Back Row – Graeme Kightley (Manager), Gerard Pratt, Anthony Waddell, Darryl Buchanan, Michael Wilson, Craig Culnane, Grant Doorey, Br. Bernard (Manager)

Front Row – Paul Everingham, Tony Pratt, Andrew Fitzhenry, Paul Ryan (Captain), Alan Birimac, John McGuiggan, Michael Chee Quee
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Hamish Solomons is the very proud owner of Cap Number 355 for St George District Club. He’s a Life Member of St George and it’s where he scored 3,251 runs and took 334 wickets across the grades ...
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Q: I’d like to get some advice on any good catching drills to practice by myself
A: Hi Ryan,

Grab a golf or tennis ball and stand say about 1 to 2 metres from a concrete/brick wall. Under arm the ball relatively firmly against the wall so it comes back at you at reasonably good pace and practice catching with two hands first but also one hand swapping between left and right hands.
Keep you eye on the ball all the way into your hands and practice giving with the ball to create what they call soft hands.
If the wall is a bit abrasive, the golf ball especially with come back at different angles and be a great little training drill.
Don’t just catch 20, catch hundreds and keen challenging yourself.
Best wishes
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Q: The following were my guiding principles as a wicket keeper

1. The nuts and bolts - footwork and hands. Hard work to develop technique and fitness that will stand up under pressure and tiredness both up to the stumps and back.
2. Run the fielding standard, set the example, and expect standards from the team.
3. Be the captain’s and bowler’s aid - field setting, bowling changes, ideas, advice.
4. Be a good team man and always be involved in the group activities.
5. Work harder than everyone else. Only one of you so the position deserves respect if you want to keep it.
A: So good, the blue print for all keepers especially youngsters. Thanks for sharing Phil
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Graham Manou is Australian Test Cricketer No 411 and played one Test on the 2009 Ashes Tour of England. As a wicket keeper he took 3 catches and scored 8 and 13 not out in the drawn third Test. ...
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Q: My son is 16 and a young fast bowler and struggles to keep his emotions in check when catches are dropped off his bowling. In a couple of games last season he took one wicket but had 2 or 3 catches dropped in the slips and he gets so down.
I know it’s part of the game but what advice can you offer?
A: Hi Dale,
You’re right it is very much part of the game but please keep encouraging your son to keep working hard on his bowling.
As he progresses through the senior grades, he will he should be playing with better fielders and catchers.
There is no reason why he can’t have a quite word to the coach in regards how much fielding his current team is doing at training. There is always an opportunity to do more, and it also needs to include all forms of catching, especially slips catching.
He could also become a leader by getting involved and participating with slip catching practice, Show his team mates the way, and he in turn will become a better catcher himself and inspire his team mates to do more.
Terry Alderman, Ian Botham, Andrew Flintoff and Tim Southee and others are very good examples of fast bowlers who were good slip fieldsman.
Keep reminding him players don’t mean to drop catches, but it is important they are working hard at practice to not let him and the other bowlers down.
Best of luck
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Q: I’m 19 and opening the batting. Started the season poorly with 4 scores under 10 and I’m frustrated as I worked hard in the off season and want to get advice on how to approach my next innings and what to focus on?
A: Hey Zac
Great advice from Greg and Peter.
It’s great that you are opening the batting as you get into the game straight away as opposed to have to wait around. Embrace the challenge.
Through any form slump I always found it beneficial to keep things really simple.
• Really work hard on watching the ball out of the bowlers’ hands. A laser like focus.
• Make the bowlers bowl to you. If you don’t need to play the ball, let it go, don’t go chasing it unnecessarily.
• Look for singles and get off strike where possible and run hard between wickets. Not just for yourself but also your partner.
If you’ve done the hard work, and do the little things right, the game will reward you
Best of luck
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Kevin Geyer made his first grade debut for Randwick in 1995 and after 2 seasons at Coogee he moved to the foot of the Blue Mountains to play for Penrith.In NSW Premier Cricket from 1995 to 2 ...
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Back Row – David Watt (Manager), Peter Lonard, Darren Burge, Gavin Robertson, Fred Angles, Paul Ryan, Graeme Kightley (Assistant Manager)Front Row – Paul McGee, Tony Pratt, Kieran McKenn ...
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Q: Some thoughts on the captain’s role

1. Objectives
• Ensure all players play to the club mantra. “Trust, Respect and Humility” to each other, the opposition, the umpires, supporters, and the crowd.
• Establish clear goals and encourage team members to work together.
• Get the most out of every player
• Allow the team to enjoy the journey and have fun.

2. Some typical common goals you agree on
• It all about “A weekend in March” – to make the final!
• Bat the full overs, convert 50’s to 100s, survive the first hour, never throw your wicket away, 1 ball at a time, really focus after fall of a wicket, drinks, lunch, tea breaks
• Bowl to the plan, in the “corridor of uncertainty”, “hit the top of off”.

3. Some Key strategies
• Discuss team and individual goals, and how to achieve them. Ensure they’re realistic and measurable. Talk about them often. Make sure everyone knows what is expected.
• Talk to every player individually, regularly. Encourage and give feedback. Listen to their feedback, give them as many opportunities as you can.
• It’s a team game, so to succeed you want everyone to contribute. Let the others take the glory but be ready to step up and take responsibility when necessary.

4. On the field
• Ensure everyone knows the bowling plans.
• Watch the fielders constantly, make sure they are where you want them. Make subtle changes, it keeps players involved.
• Never be afraid to make major changes, rather than just letting the game roll on. Try things.
• Talk to the bowlers between overs, encourage, reinforce the plans.
• Find someone who you can talk to, who can see things you might not. Usually it’s the keeper, first slip or mid-off).
• Encourage – “It only takes one ball”, “one wicket brings two”.

5. The umpires
• Talk to them when they arrive at the ground, get to know their names, invite them to afternoon tea, talk to them after the game, take them a drink. They're good people, interested in cricket.
• Above all, treat them with respect. Everyone makes some mistakes. Accept it and move on.

6. In the change rooms
• Encourage everyone to stay at the end of the day. Be positive, even after a loss, talk about the game, especially the good bits, recognise the good performances, avoid blame or failures. Everyone is going to make mistakes. Learn from them.
• Remember it is a game. We play to enjoy (and to win) but mostly to have fun and enjoy time with our mates. Nothing wrong with having a few scars. And there is always next week
A: Terrific insights into captaincy from a great leader and gentleman with long history of success in NSW Premier Cricket. Thanks for sharing Greg
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Sam Perry is a former Grade Cricketer who possesses a deep love for the beauty, the history and the traditions within the game of cricket.He’s also one half of the satirical duo that is ...
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Shane King was a talented wicket keeper batter from the ACT and was selected in the Australian Under 19 Development Squad in 1991-92.Shane moved to Victoria to further his cricketing journey ...
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Q: I’m the coach of an under 16 school team and would like to get some advice about the best way to break down the team chasing say 100 runs to win a one-day game with 15 overs to go in the innings. The players seem to get caught wanting to play big shots and we often fall 30 or 40 runs short. Any help would be great
A: I agree 100% with Jody, Bryan and Trent and their quality advice.

To add a further thought to the 100 runs off 15 overs. If you challenge the batters by asking, how many boundaries (4s) do we think we could hit off 90 balls.

If for example the answer is 8 boundaries, that’s 32 runs. So, the run chase could hypothetically be 68 runs off 82 balls or using Trent’s advice of aiming to score the runs with an over to spare, 68 runs off 76 balls.

Therefore, in the minds of the youngsters (perhaps all of us) the chase doesn’t seem too insurmountable and gets them to focus on running hard between wickets and working the ball to score singles and two’s. It may deliver the batters the confidence of not having to play unnecessary big shots and throw their wickets away.

As Trent quite rightly pointed out running between wickets is so important. Scoring one’s and two’s regularly will frustrate the bowlers and potentially lead to them bowling more than the 8 bad balls which can be put away to the boundary.

It’s so important the team sit together so each player can see what’s happening and required for their team to win.

Great question Stuart and well done on looking after the players and the team. Best of luck.
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Q: In any sport, there are many participants who have enough talent to compete with and against the future stars of their chosen game. I was lucky enough to play with or against this lot. Not all household names but for those in the know, undoubtedly talented players. Who wins this game and can you name a more talented bunch?

Australians

Jeremy Bray
Richard Chee Quee
Corey Richards
Shane Lee
Scott Hookey
Shane Deitz
Dave Colley
Trent Johnston
Brett Lee
Paul Sutherland
Stuart MacGill

Rest of the World

Chris Gladwin (England)
Giles Ecclestone (England)
Rob Leiper (England)
Alvin Kallicharran (West Indies)
Nayan Mongia (India)
Neil Barry (West Indies)
Robert Dalrymple (South Africa)
Bob Taylor (England)
Jamie Porter (England)
Peter Delroy Thompson (West Indies)
David Lawrence (England)
A: You’ve played with some quality cricketers Steve. I’ll back the Aussie team
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Q: On behalf of Driver Avenue Group I’d like to congratulate to Ross Pawson on being signed to a a full time Cricket NSW contract following the announcement of the 23/24 NSW Blues Squad this morning.
Ross has dominated NSW Premier Grade Cricket for multiple seasons with his side Northern Districts & has been justly rewarded for his consistent wicket taking.
Well done Ross!
A: Congratulations Ross, terrific to see NSW Premier Cricket performances rewarded. All the best.
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Rodney Davison was a compact opening batsman who just loved to bat.He made his first grade debut in 1985 and amassed 10,732 runs in 270 innings at an average of 48.12. Rodney scored 24 centu ...
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Despite packing up his ball machine for the last time in 2015 Bill Madden remains one of the most recognisable and popular cricket coaches of his time.Fiercely loyal Bill didn’t discrimina ...
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Q: Former Australian Cricket Captain Ian Chappell shared is thoughts on the role of a captain in an interview in 1992.

Ian Chappell - To me, captaincy is two parts. There is captaincy, which is on the field, the pinning up of the batting order, the handling of the bowling and the changing of the field, and there is leadership. That is time spent with players off the field. I am not talking about the time spent on cocktails. I am talking of time spent with the players. If the players have a problem, I have to listen to the problem and act upon it. If they have a fight against the board, I had to fight that fight.

Captaincy is not an 11 to 6 job. It is hell of a lot more than that. I think there are a lot of good captains around. Also, I think there are bloody awful leaders around. They cannot lead a backside. I think the amount of time spent with players off the field is what reaps the reward. That to me is the art of leadership, to get the best out of men.
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Matt Whitby was a tall and economical fast bowler who made his First Grade debut for Petersham in season 1990/91.He represented NSW at Under 19’s and Colts and took 281 First grade wickets ...
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Q: I’m 18 and opening the bowling and want to have a big offseason to improve. What do people recommend as the balls I need to work on and perfect?
A: As an 18-year-old I’d suggest you keep things simple in terms of your off season.
Irrespective of whether you’re a swing or seam bowler perfecting your stock ball that hits the top of off stump 8 out of 10 times will deliver you terrific benefits next season.
Take a look at some footage on YouTube of Glenn McGath bowling. It pays to never get bored hitting the top of off stump. Let the batsman get bored.
The other two balls you should look to perfect is the yorker and if you’re fast enough, a bouncer directed between chest and head height.
Don’t forget your fitness and strength should play a big part of your off-season preparation. Best of luck.
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Q: What's the ideal dynamic between a captain and a coach in club cricket?
A: Communication and trust are the two key ingredients to a successful captain and coach dynamic at any level.
As the person making decision on the field, the teams win loss scorecard is worn by the captain, so it’s very important the captain and coach openly identify and complement each other in their individual strengths, weaknesses, personality traits and, importantly, their roles.
If the captain is an experienced leader and an active communicator within the playing group, the coach’s role may differ compared to an inexperienced captain or a captain whose communication skills off the field could be better.
It is imperative both the captain and coach are consistent with their messages with the players and the club.
Mixed messages and lack of clarity around players roles and game plans limits the players and teams’ ability to enjoy the game and perform at their best
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Mark Atkinson left NSW at the beginning of the 1991/92 season to play cricket in Tasmania without a contract or a promise. By February that season he was selected to make his first class debut for ...
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Q: Next summer I will be coaching Valley District Cricket Club First Grade in Queensland Premier Cricket (Red Ball only).
It will be great helping talented, keen, and focused young men.
We have a blend of experience and youth backed up by a smart forward-thinking Board.
To help win a Premiership is my goal.
August can’t come quick enough!
A: Terrific news Peter and a wonderful appointment by Valley. Valley players are very lucky to have you guiding them next season, best of luck.
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Jason Penrose played NSW Under 19 in 1986 as a stylish opening batsman and made his first grade debut in the same year.Jason’s played cricket in Sydney, U.K, Hong Kong and Brisbane, he’s ...
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Q: What's the best way, legally of course, to get the ball to reverse swing?
A: Hey Glenn
Excellent question. I’ll preface this be saying I’m not a bowler but from what I understand of reverse swing it comes from keeping one side of the ball shinier than the other.
It’s important everyone in the team is fully aware of what side of the ball they’re to be working on. In fact, that’s almost impossible as someone will always shine the wrong side. Probably better to leave it with one or two players to protect the ball.
Legally you can use sweat on the ball so make sure any sweat is going to the side of the ball you are shining.
If the ball starts to reverse, it obviously is an added benefit to the bowling team but only if the bowlers are pitching the ball up to give the ball an opportunity to swing.
I’ll leave it to others to provide technical advice.
Best of luck
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On the 5 April 2023 at Cricket NSW Steve Waugh Medal Awards night Steve Rixon was inducted into the Cricket NSW Hall of Fame. A terrific and richly deserved accolade. ...
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Q: When I first moved to Sydney (1985/86) I opened the batting with our skipper Steve Janz, Western Suburbs v Manly at Pratten Park.
Manly had David Lawrence who went on to open the bowling for England a few years later in their team.
Lawrence was bowling from the bowling club end and a few overs he had Janzy dropped at first slip from the 4th ball of the over. The next ball Janzy edged straight to first slip, and he was dropped again.
The 6th ball of the over was uneventful as was the next over from the other end.
The first ball of Lawrence’s next over Janzy edged it straight to first slip again and for the 3rd time in 4 balls the catch went down. First slip was hitting the ground with his hand whilst everyone else turned and looked away while smiling politely.
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Ken Healy made his first grade debut for South Brisbane during the 1984/85 season and he continues to make a significant contribution to the game as the head coach at Northern Suburbs Cricket Club ...
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Q: How often should a junior (let’s say 11-14) practice their skills during the week?
A: Hi Dave, I really like Bryan reference to allowing his kids to take the lead in wanting to practice.
Sure, a quiet word of encouragement is ok but ultimately, especially 11- to 14-year-olds, let the kids drive their desire to practice, have fun, hone their skills and learn new ones.
Some kids like to practice every day, others once or twice a week depending on what other things they have going on apart from school and other sports.
Practice doesn’t have to be formal with a net, bowling machine, wangers and so forth. Encourage the kids to think outside the square where they can still practice their skills but have more fun doing so. You can have a lot of fun making up games that’ll improve catching and fielding for example.
As the kids become older, say 16,17 and they have a real desire and passion to play first class cricket then their practice schedule might need to be 3 to 4 days a week.
If I could encourage you and all parents to avoid making the kids practice. If you’re making them do something they’re not passionate about you’ll take away the enjoyment and Bryan is right, they’ll end up giving away the game.
Yes, there’s a lot of money in cricket these days, but it’s only about 0.01% of all participants who make a living playing the game.
Let and encourage them to have fun. You just never know.
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In May 2021, I received a phone call from former Australian and NSW wicket keeper Steve Rixon wondering if it’d be ok if our cricket platform could do a story with Bob Vidler.I immediately ...
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Burt Cockley played first class cricket for NSW and Western Australia. He played T20 Cricket for the Perth Scorchers in the BBL and for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.He played NSW Premier Crick ...
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Q: What should form part of a selector or coach thought process when considering two wicket keepers who are both good keepers and have similar batting records?
A: If two keepers have similar batting records and ability you should always pick the best wicket keeper.
If you genuinely believe both wicket keepers are of equal ability with the gloves and bat here are some thoughts, you might like to consider
• Is one keeper more competent and reliable keeping to the spinners.
• Which keeper has the better work ethic and trains harder. If one is training properly, more often and harder they’ll be less likely to make mistakes.
• Which of the two keepers is the better leader within the team. Which keeper provides greater support to the bowlers and fielders and drives and sets the fielding standards?
• If they do have similar batting records have a look at how and when both keepers score runs. Is one scoring their runs more often is tough conditions when the team really needs the runs.
• If one of the keepers shows greater potential with the bat is the captain and the coach communicating, encouraging, and challenging the keeper to score more runs?

It’s so important to pick the keeper less likely to make mistakes as taking the catches and stumpings brings greater confidence to the team and will win you games. Dropped catches and missed stumpings can be extremely costly and adds enormous pressure on the team to score more runs to win games.
Best of luck.
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Rod Tucker made his first class debut and played one game for NSW in 1986/87 before moving to Tasmania in 1988 and establishing himself as a fine all-round first class cricketer.All up Rod p ...
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Q: I’m a left arm orthodox bowler and like to attack the off stump. Should I have a 5/4 field with 5 on the off side or 5 on the leg side?
A: Hey Tim
It’s great you like to attack the off stump to right handers as it means you bring into play dismissals on the inside and outside edge of the bat.
If the ball slides on, you bring into play bowled, LBW and an inside edge to a potential short leg. If the ball turns away from the right-handed batter, you bring into play a catch behind to the wicket keeper or first slip and a stumping opportunity.
It’s important you have your fielders in the right positions in front of the batters’ eyes. You want them to feel crowded so on the offside I’d recommend mid-off, short cover, extra cover, point and first slip.
On the leg side mid-on, a shortish mid-wicket, perhaps a deep square leg (if you want some protection to sweep shots and short balls) and a short fine leg.
You want the batter to have eyes on the gap between shortish mid-wicket and deep square. If they’re doing so and you’re consistently bowling the off stump line then they’re going to have to play across the line of the ball which is exactly what you want.
If you don’t want the protection then you can bring deep square leg into a squarer mid-wicket positioned 10 or so yards behind and on the right shoulder of the short mid-wicket or bring them into a short leg.
If again you’re consistently bowling a fuller length and on off stump, you’re asking the batter to hit through the field or tempting them to go over the top.
So, for me it’d be the 5/4 field with 5 on the offside. Best of luck.
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Q: I remember a one-day game at Hurstville Oval.
St George was batting first and one of our openers was a very attacking batter. In the early stage of his career, he liked to hit more boundaries than singles especially in a 50 over game.
The opposing captain set a 7/2 field in the first over including 2 slips, third man, point, deep cover, short cover and mid-off.
On the leg side was a mid-on and fine leg with plenty of open and inviting space.
The bowler played his role perfectly with the first ball being outside off stump through to the keeper. The second ball was well pitched up on off stump and our opener eyes lit up as he played across the line to the open space and was out LBW.
A clearly well thought out plan and terrific risk v reward captaincy.
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Q: As a batter runs are your currency and it’s great to see Ryan Hackney follow up his maiden first class century for NSW by scoring big runs for his club Parramatta in NSW Premier Cricket.

In the month of March, Ryan has scored.

• 50 and 51 not for Parramatta v Mosman
• 73 for Parramatta v Sutherland
• 99 and 15 for NSW 2nd XI v ACT
• 78 and 102 for NSW v South Australia
• 51 for Parramatta in their quarter final against St George
• 130 for Parramatta in their semi-final against Randwick Petersham
• 193 not for Parramatta in the Grand Final against Sydney University.

On the back of this form, and his ability to occupy the crease and bat long into an innings, one can only assume Ryan will get the opportunity to start next season opening the batting for NSW.

Well played Ryan Hackney.
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Jason Young played all his junior cricket in Wagga Wagga in the Riverina region of NSW.A prodigious young batter with enormous talent and a thirst for runs and it wasn’t long before Jason ...
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This isn’t a story about a game of cricket or a cricketer but it is for all cricket fans throughout Australia especially those with kids or grandkids between ...
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Q: My son has trouble playing leg side shots. Gets hit on the pads or just misses the ball.
Is it because he’s trying to hit the ball too hard?
A: Generally, when a batter is missing leg side shots it means their head and shoulders are moving away from the ball. It’s hard to hit a ball on leg stump when your head is moving towards the offside.
If you can get your son moving his feet and head to the line of the ball, he’ll be in a better position to play leg side shots.
Ask him not to try and hit the ball too hard. In the nets get him to focus on keeping his head still, staying in line of the ball and playing defensive shots.
You and he will notice the difference and as his confidence grows so will the runs.
Just because the ball is heading towards his pads doesn’t mean the ball has to be hit for 4. Hitting singles and two’s off his pads is ok and as he gets stronger his natural timing will improve and so will the boundaries.
Here's an excellent video to help

Best of luck
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Q: BBL. I’m really confused how Cameron White missed out on the Melbourne Stars coaching job and it was given to Peter Moore who twice coached England. Am I the only one?
A: Hey Damien, I'm with you and share your confusion. I would've thought Cameron White would've been perfect. He's Victorian through and through and had experience working with the Sydney Sixers 🤷‍♂️
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Rod Bower made his first class debut for NSW in the 1983/84 season and played 13 first class and 9 one day games for the Baggy Blues.From 1977 to 1998 Rod scored 11,841 runs in Sydney Grade ...
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Q: So I tried AI to tell me what are the parallels between life and cricket. Here's what it came up with: Cricket is a game of skill, strategy and patience. It is also a game of uncertainty, unpredictability and frustration. Life is like cricket in many ways. You never know what kind of pitch you will get, what kind of ball you will face, or what kind of umpire you will encounter. You have to adapt to the changing conditions, play according to your strengths and weaknesses, and hope for the best. Sometimes you hit a six, sometimes you get out for a duck. Sometimes you win the toss, sometimes you lose it. Sometimes you catch a brilliant catch, sometimes you drop a sitter. Sometimes you get a fair decision, sometimes you get a howler. The only thing that matters is how you handle the ups and downs, how you celebrate the victories and learn from the defeats, how you respect your opponents and enjoy the game. Cricket teaches us many lessons about life: teamwork, discipline, perseverance, sportsmanship and humility. Cricket is not just a sport; it is a way of life.
A: Wow, AI really does work. What a brilliant summation of cricket and life. Thanks for sharing Tim
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Q: What's the funniest thing you've ever seen happen in a game of cricket?
A: When I first moved to Sydney (1985/86) I opened the batting with our skipper Steve Janz, Western Suburbs v Manly at Pratten Park.
Manly had David Lawrence who went on to open the bowling for England a few years later in their team.
Lawrence was bowling from the bowling club end and a few overs he had Janzy dropped at first slip from the 4th ball of the over. The next ball Janzy edged straight to first slip, and he was dropped again.
The 6th ball of the over was uneventful as was the next over from the other end.
The first ball of Lawrence’s next over Janzy edged it straight to first slip again and for the 3rd time in 4 balls the catch went down. First slip was hitting the ground with his hand whilst everyone else turned and looked away while smiling politely.
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Q: Blake MacDonald becomes the 40th player to go from Cricket ACT Premier Cricket to First Class Cricket. Blake made his first class debut for NSW v South Australia on 14 March 2023
A: Well done Blake, congratulations and good luck.

Adam, do you have the full list of the 40 players. It'd be interesting reading especially the players of recent years.
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Q: Recently we had one of our younger batters (16) padded up for 2 and half hours during a long partnership. It was a hot day and the youngster sat still during the partnership and then when a wicket fell, was unfortunately out first ball

What advice or tips can you offer younger batters when they’re waiting a long time to bat?
A: All batters are different as they wait for a wicket to fall and it's their turn to bat. Some are chatting, some quiet, some fidgety and some like to keep still.
Batters need to work out as quickly as they can what works for them. A long partnership can make it easy to relax and become too comfortable and just as you do a wicket falls and you’re out in the middle.
The young batter you mentioned is only 16 and they’re probably not used to waiting around so long to bat. I’d encourage them to be proactive every 20 minutes or so.
Standing up and walking around for 30 or 40 seconds to keep their legs moving and perhaps doing a stretch or two. Even shadow bat 2 or 3 shots to keep the mind and muscle memory active.
Very important not to be sitting in the sun, find shade and a comfortable seat.
The old saying one wicket brings two rings true after a long partnership so the batter coming in needs to be awake and ready to go.
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Q: Two batters selected in a squad of 13 players but only one will play.

In the previous week and Batter A scored 165 in the first innings and 105 in the 2nd innings while in a different game Batter B scored 12 in the first innings and 50 not out in the 2nd innings.

Do you select Batter A or B to play in the XI?
A: I'd be picking Batter A
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Q: On behalf of Driver Avenue Group we’d like to congratulate Nathan Lyon on a great job in Australia’s 3rd Test win over India, a great Test win.

In taking 8 for 64 in India’s 2nd innings of the 3rd Test in India Nathan achieved:

• Player of the Match
• 479 Test Wickets (238 home; 241 away)
• the 2nd best figures ever for Australia in Tests against India behind his own 8 for 50 in Bengaluru during the 2017 tour.
• Become the only Australian spinner to take 8 wickets in a test innings twice.
• Become the leading wicket taker of all time in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy
• The most Test wickets in Asia by a player from outside the continent.
• Taken more five-wicket hauls against India than any other bowler.

That’s a big day out!

Well done, Nathan 👏👏👏
A: A magnificent career in all conditions. How many bowlers would have an almost 50/50 record of their wickets split between their country and playing in other countries?
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Q: I’m new to umpiring and have become quite fascinated about the psychology of the different guards’ batters choose when they come out to bat.
Batters ask for middle stump, leg stump, middle to leg, one leg, leg stump to off stump and other variations. Can I ask what you choose and the reason why?
A: I remember my father telling me the importance of knowing where the stumps are and making the bowlers bowl to you.
As a left hander he suggested taking one leg as a guard and I’ve done so ever since.
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Q: How important is it for captains to speak to players about their roles in the team or should players know their roles?
A: Communication is such a powerful ingredient for good captaincy.
We all like to feel a sense of belonging in life and playing in a cricket team is no different. People like to know how they can contribute and knowing their roles creates the clarity of what they need to do to prepare so they give themselves the best opportunity to execute their skills and help the team.
There’s more to a role in a team to just scoring runs, taking wickets, catches and run outs.
For example, most batters like to know where their batting in the order days in advance (not the night before or 5 minutes before play starts) as they can prepare, think through/visualise their innings, what their role is and how they’d like to play.
As a captain, at any level of the game, please don’t take it for granted each of the players in the team will know their role. A quiet word of clarity and encouragement can make a significant difference for all.
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Q: What is the right footwork for a wicket keeper standing back to fast bowlers. Is it having the feet cross over behind each other as the keeper moves sideways or a shuffle where the feet following each other?
From memory as kids, we were taught to cross over the get extra distance, but a coach has mentioned to my son he should shuffle his feet as quick as possible
A: I’m don’t think there is a definitive “right footwork”.
I too was encouraged to use the cross over of the feet as it was suggested you’d get an extra half a yard reach to be in a better position to take the wider balls and catches.
I’ve also seen many high-quality keepers use the shuffle method and easily be in position to take the wider balls.
Irrespective of how your sons’ feet move standing back it’s important he works hard on getting strength into his legs as a powerbase. It’ll be his drive through the legs that will help him move more quickly and be in the right position to take the balls that make a difference to the team.
It’s equally as important to make sure your son works hard on training drills to stay on the balls of his feet and prevent being caught flat footed. As a keeper if you get caught being flat footed it makes it very difficult to push of the foot and have the leg drive to be in the right position to take the ball.
I hope this helps.
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Q: If you have a promising young leg spinner in your team is it better for their confidence to bring them on to break a partnership or straight after you get a wicket when a new batter comes in?
A: A very good question. A supportive captain is so critical in the development of young spinners and it’s so important the captain backs their spinners at all stages of the game.
In the scenario you’ve mentioned there’s a couple of things to think about. How many games the leg spinner has played in the team, their level of maturity and personal confidence.
Ideally, it’d be great if the young leg spinner came into the attack straight after a wicket falls so they get to start their spell and build their confidence against a new batter who may take some time getting used to the bowling, the pitch and the conditions.
However, in my opinion the quicker you get the spinner into the game the better.
Ultimately the captain needs to do what’s right for the team and if the partnership continues you may not have a choice but to bring the leg spinner on.
Get them into the game, provide some protection in the field and if the batters go after the leg spinner you can always give them a spell after 2 or 3 overs. If you do, please make sure you communicate to the spinner and ideally look to get them back on again as soon as a wicket falls.
Leg spinners are match winners.
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Q: I try and get as close to the stumps as I can when I bowl, and my action means I get close to the umpire. I always ask if the umpire can move back a little, some are ok, but others don’t want to move. Because I get so close if they don’t move it makes me uncomfortable and affects my bowling. My question is shouldn’t they all move back if it helps the bowler?
A: I’m not sure if there’s a hard and fast rule about your request to the umpire.

An umpire I would assume would need to apply common sense. If they can accommodate your request and still be in a position to be decisive in their decision-making (including no balls) then it might be ok.

If the umpire is uncomfortable and feels they’ll be too far from their normal standing I can also see why they’d prefer not to move.

There are many bowlers in the past who have been very close to an umpire in their actions so it might be advisable to bowling in the nets with someone standing where an umpire would normally stand so you get used to it and it doesn’t affect your bowling.
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Q: Australia didn’t play a practice game in India prior to the First Test.

Should players be expected to perform under the pressure of a Test Match when they haven’t played competitive red ball cricket for 8 weeks and or played a practice game under the pressures and conditions, they’ll experience in the Test Match?
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Q: Hard to fathom why Travis Head is not playing in the first test for Australia v India. His recent form and being ranked number 4 Test batter in the world would suggest he least deserved the first opportunity in India
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Q: I’m opening the batting next game for the first time. I’m not sure but I think I’d like to face the first ball and want to ask if people think there’s a benefit to facing the first ball?
A: You’re going to have to face your first ball at some stage and I’ve always thought it’s better to do so before the bowler gets into their rhythm. Getting off the mark to what could be a loosener is a benefit.
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Q: As Aaron Finch calls stumps on his outstanding international career who do cricket fans believe should be the next Australian T20 Cricket Captain?
A: Ashton Turner would be terrific and my choice as captain.
Has the dynamic batting skills to be in the team in his own right, good fielder and is a calm and inspiring leader. He's a winner
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Q: How important is the relationship between a spinner and their wicket keeper?
A: Vitally important. It’s a special relationship and I’ve often said a spinner is only as good as their wicket keeper.

As Tim terrifically articulated the spinner (like all bowlers) does all the hard word and it’s not a great feeling behind the stumps when you let your spinner down through a dropped catch, missed stumping or even letting byes through.

A spinner needs to be patient and work over a batter, and it takes time. They need to have the confidence their keeper will be there for them at any time.

Helping their spinner and captain with fields settings and angles to maintain pressure. Challenging the fielders to make sure there’s no easy singles to allow the spinner to build pressure on the one batter.

Supporting their spinner with words of encouragement and politely letting the batter know the spinner is doing things they can’t see with also help build pressure.

It’s critical, the more work spinner do with their wicket keepers do at training together the better.

Keeping in the nets to the spinners is so valuable. Being able to see the spinners variations and working with them will help during the pressure situation of a game. It may just be the difference of taking a thicker edge catch during a game or dropping one.

One training drill between a spinner and wicket keeper I believe gets lost a little doesn’t have to involve a pitch, batter or nets. You can do it anywhere.

Most spinning coaches will tell a spinner the importance of consistency of length and forcing the batters into more forward pressing strokes.

To do so the spinner needs to pitch the ball in a certain area of the pitch to bring the batter forward.

A very useful training drill is for the wicket keeper to crouch in what would be considered that area of the pitch and for the spinner to bowl the ball into the wicket keepers’ gloves.

This repetitive action allows the spinner to know whether they’re hitting the right areas consistently and allows the wicket keeper to understand and practice keeping to the variations of their spinner.

It is a very important relation and working together builds the camaraderie and confidence in each other.
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Q: Most young batters in our club bat well for 30 to 50 balls but then start to play across the line and get themselves out. What advice or strategy can we offer to help them bat longer.
A: A young 15 year old batter for Western Suburbs scored 102 in 4th Grade in NSW Premier Cricket last Saturday. Scoring a century is such a terrific achievement for the youngster but what I think is even more impressive is he faced 221 balls. So good. It can be done.
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Q: I’m new to cricket and I hear commentators talk about having a left- and right-hand batter batting together in T20 cricket. Why is it such a benefit and is it only a benefit in T20 cricket?
A: Hi Roshan, welcome to cricket. I hope you're enjoying the game.

The benefit of having a right hand and left-hand batters batting together is it puts more pressure on the bowlers to maintain the lines and lengths they want to bowl to each batter.

The line a bowler wants to bowl to a right hander differs from the lines they may like to bowl to a left hander.

So, if the batters are rotating the strike regularly the bowler is under more pressure to bowl the right lines to each batter and there’s more room for error which gives each batter greater opportunities to score runs more freely.

The benefits of a left- and right-hand combination is not confined to T20 cricket, it’s the same for cricket at all levels and formats.
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Q: A fast bowler has already received a warning for bowling a ball above the waist and then bowls a wide chest high full toss which the batter cuts for 4. Should it be the 2nd warning and they be not allowed to bowl anymore in the innings, or could it be considered not dangerous as it was wide of the batter and they’re allowed to keep bowling.
A: Hi Robin

I contacted a friend who’s a well-respected and very experienced umpire with NSW Premier Cricket.

This was his response.

Law 41.7.2 notes that a full toss above waist height is dangerous if in the umpire’s opinion there is a risk of injury to the striker. So, in the scenario presented, it would be up to the umpire to assess that risk from the delivery in question. That fact that the striker cut the ball for a boundary would tend to indicate it was wide enough to not be considered dangerous but umpire’s call. Note that playing conditions may override the law and above the waist may be an automatic warning irrespective of the danger element, as in some junior competitions. I hope that helps.
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Q: As a captain what’s the best way to know if the slips are positioned correctly?
A: The slips cordon needs to take the lead from your wicket keeper as where they should be positioned.

The wicket keeper needs to position themselves so they’re catching regulation balls just above the hip from fast and medium pace bowlers. If they are taking most of the balls below their hips, they’re standing too far back which means the slips will be as well.

You want your slips cordon creating chances rather than edges falling short of them.

In terms of first slip. They should be standing say 1.5 to 2 metres to the keepers left or right depending on if it’s a right or left handed batter and say no more than a metre behind the keeper.

2nd slip should be around 1.5 metres to the left or right of 1st slips but parallel with the keeper. If you have a 3rd slip, they should be 1.5 metres from 2nd slip and probably half a metre in front of 2nd slip.

Your wicket keeper needs to take control of where the slips are standing and challenge them to be closer if possible. The keeper also needs to have confidence in their movement so they can take catches to their left or right of first slip which allows first slips to stand a little further away from the keeper. This will help the slips cordon create further opportunities as they are taking up more space.

If the slips cordon are standing too close to each other they run the risk of getting in each other’s way and not knowing whose catch it is.
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Q: What’s the one piece of advice you’d offer a teenage cricketer who’s looking to make their way in the game?
A: As early as possible don’t be afraid to ask questions and never stop asking about what you want to know.

Ask the questions of people who you know care about your cricket, listen to their answers, seek 2nd opinions from others and you’ll be able to establish what works best for you more quickly.

Don’t wait until you’re in your 20s to ask the questions that could’ve helped you years earlier.
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Q: I was just wondering if you have any tips on how to bat when you’re coming of a few low scores and a bit low on confidence. How you should just go about it?
A: Firstly, well done on asking the question and always remember you’re not on your own. Every player goes through a rough trot and it’s the good ones who ask questions to be better.

Some tips.

It’s so important to focus hard on the ball when the bowler lets the ball go. Sometimes we get used to just watching an area around the bowler’s hand at the time of delivery. Don’t focus on an area, really focus hard on the ball.

When struggling for runs I always found concentrating on having a solid defence helped a lot. Watching the ball, focusing on my defence and looking for singles was the key.

Make the bowlers bowl to you. That means letting a lot of balls go outside the off stump, staying as patient as possible and soon you may find the bolwer loses their patience and starts to bowl into your scoring areas. When you’re out of form play as straight as possible and limit your cross bat shot until you have 20 or 30 on the board.

Back yourself to bat time and a long time. 50 singles is still a 50 and 100 singles is still a 100. The longer you bat the more your natural scoring shots will come into play.

Best of luck to get back scoring runs James
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Q: Is age (young or old) a key criteria in selecting players in a cricket team?
A: Personally, I don’t believe age should form part of the selection process of any cricket team. The adage if you’re good enough, you’re old enough rings true.
I will say however cricket is game played by 11 players and the selectors must pick a balanced team consisting of 6 or so batters, a wicket keeper, a few fast/medium bowlers and hopefully one or two spinners. They simply can’t pick everyone who may or may not be good enough.
Team dynamics and team first mentality could also be drivers of selection.
Selections are never easy and being limited to 11 players means no one player has a given right to be selected in any cricket team. However young or old the player needs to have the performances on the board and be able to do a job with their skills as well as contribute in other aspects such as catching, ground fielding and running between wickets.
Not being selected in a team is not the worst thing that’ll ever happen to a player. Their ability to move forward and get on with the game they enjoy playing has been the making of many the greats of the game.
If the collective of the people involved in and around the team (International, State, County, Association or Club), believe the selectors are getting things consistently wrong then it’s their roles to make changes so the team can move forward and win games of cricket.
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Q: Is the PlayHQ scoring system only in Australia and what systems are used in other countries?
There must be more proven options available.
A: David, Play HQ has been rolled out to replace MyCricket in a few states across Australia and in New Zealand as I understand.
There is a cricket platform from New Zealand called CricHQ and I think they’re also accepted in the United Kingdom along with Play Cricket. I think England offers the grassroots cricket competitions the options of which platform they’d like to use.
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Q: What's the best way to coach a young leg spin bowler to disguise their wrongun better?
A: I’m not a leg spinner but as a former wicket keeper I had the good fortune to keep to a number of really good leggies.
I shared your question with one of them who's also a highly respected spin coach and his feedback is.

"When you bowl a leg spin you present the ball to the batter with the palm of your hand and when you bowl a wrongun you present the ball with back of your hand.
To disguise it better, try and stay as side on as you do when you're bowling the leg spinner.
Also practice the holding and delivering the ball across the seam so it’s harder for the batter to pick the wrongun. "
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Q: What's the best cricket shot to learn to play well?
A: Hi Larry, I've always believed if a batter can play a straight drive they have the foundation of a good technique to score a lot of runs
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Q: Last I heard, County cricket and Test cricket in England use different types of Dukes Cricket balls. Do you think this will give the Australians who play County cricket prior to the Test series the best preparation?
A: I think the more times an Australian batter can face the Duke ball in England the better and well done to County teams for contracting Australian players.

I'm sure the young players at Sussex will learn a great deal from playing and being around Steve Smith before the Ashes series this year. A win for all.
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Q: My kids love heading to the nets in school holidays but often don’t have any adults with them to direct what they’re working on.
Does anyone have any advice on what drills they could do at the nets to keep them interested and engaged whilst also improving their skills?
Batting, bowling and catching all need help!
Thanks in advance
A: Great question Iain and by your question I’m assuming the kids are about 10 or early teenage years.
It’s a difficult question to answer as its quite generic and there’s so many ideas and drills the kids could be doing to hone their skills.

Most importantly the kids need to be having fun but if you want them to be working on their skills here’s some ideas.

Batting – young kids learning to hit the ball on the ground is so important so they could play a game amongst themselves whereby if a the ball is hit above a certain height of the nets the batter is out. After 5 outs the batters swap over. Hopefully it doesn’t cause too many arguments.

After they all get a turn to bat allow them 10 to 15 balls each where they can play all their attacking shots and enjoy themselves.

Bowling – get the kids to make a spot on the wicket where the ball might land to hit the top of off stump. This will give the kids something to aim at and it is a great habit to get into as the years progress.

Fielding – get the kids to take a stump along to the nets. If they stand about 15 metres on opposite side of the stump they can throw the ball at the stump and the other can back up, field the ball and then it’s their turn to throw the balls at the stump.

Set the challenge for the drill to continue until the kids involved hit the stumps at least 6 times.

I hope this helps and they continue to have fun.
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Q: How important is the communication between two batters to build a good partnership?
A: Communication is vital between the two batters.

Some batters like to be chatty whilst others may like to be quieter, but the communication needs to be helpful for both.
Obviously running between wickets with loud calls is important but so is discussing how the team is going, the importance of the partnership and how each batter feeling and playing themselves.

One batter maybe struggling against a particular bowler, or trying to hit the ball too hard or losing their shape when playing attacking strokes. It’s important their partner offers a quite word of encouragement to help them get through the tough period.

Discussing the importance of singles and turning the strike over. Being able to identify where they can both pick up quick singles and who are the better fielders to be mindful of.

It’s 11 fielders against 2 batters so it’s important the batters communicate and help each other as they look to score runs and build a partnership for their team.

If both batters can help their partner get through the tough periods it can wear down the fielding team, the bowlers lose their patience and there’s more opportunities to score runs as the bowlers become tired.

You can’t score runs and win games for your team sitting in the dressing sheds. Partnerships and good communication are vital.
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Q: I’m a fast medium bowler and would like to ask what bowlers are thinking about and looking at when they’re running into to bowl?
A: I’m no bowler but I once read Dennis Lillee saying he always had eyes for the base of off stump as he was running into bowl
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Q: I’m on the committee of our cricket club and we find it difficult to get everyone involved. It always feels as though it’s the same two or three people doing the work to make sure the club functions. We’d like to get some advice or ideas on how other clubs structure their committees and share the workload?
A: I’d say this is a common issue across all cricket and sporting clubs especially as grassroots cricket relies so heavily on volunteers.

There is one cricket club I’m aware of who has set up what I believe to be a terrific model

They simply changed the name of the management of the club from Committee to Board.

As a board of management each member has duties and responsibilities and report to the chair and or president.
If people choose to be on the board everyone is fully aware of their roles and compelled to fulfill, do what’s required and not let anyone down.

From what I see on how the club operates, the structure works tremendously well.
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Q: What would you consider to be the worst ball in an over to get out on and why?
A: I would say the worst ball to get out is the 6th ball. The last ball of the over.

Every over the fielding team goes without taking a wicket the pressure and their patience is tested.

Losing your wicket on the last ball gets them back up and about for the next over.

Also as a batter getting through the last ball of an over gives you further opportunities to face more balls and score more runs.

Getting out on any ball is no fun, just don’t allow it to be the last ball of an over
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Q: What is the most surreal moment you've experienced in cricket?
A: Growing up in Armidale Northern NSW in the 1970s and like most young cricketers, my cricket heroes were Ian and Greg Chappell, Rod Marsh and Dennis Lillee.

In January 1980 when I was 12 on a family holiday in Sydney, dad and I went to the SCG to watch our first day night game Australia v England sitting in the old wooden Sheridan Stand.

Australia batted first and and then under lights Lillee got 4 for 12 with the crowd going crazy with the famous chant Lillee, Lillee, Lillee.

It was an incredible experience. I loved it.

12 or so years later Lillee was doing one of his fast bowling clinics for young NSW fast bowlers at the SCG.

As a keeper batter I was invited to help out and after a hit in the nets we ventured out for a centre wicket session and I did some keeping. I also had another opportunity for a hit.

After a couple of minutes batting, I was surprised and a tad excited to see Lillee (who was probably 43/44 years of age) grab the ball to bowl.

Here I was facing up to Dennis Lillee bowling from the same end he was back in 1980 when the crowd was going beserk chanting his name.
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Q: I’m 23 and a captain in my first season. I want to ask why spinners are so quick to want a fielder at deep point. In my opinion it’s just an easy single for the batter?
A: Great question Damien. It’s one that confuses me as well especially in Test match cricket and in two-day games in Grade cricket in Sydney.

I understand some spinners like to have a level of protection when they first start their spells but I’ve always believed a regulation point is a wicket taking position for a spinner especially until the batter gets used to the spinners bounce, pace and how far they’re spinning the ball.

A batter who looks to attack on the front or back foot can easily pop a catch towards point.

A deep point also allows the batter to manoeuvre the ball too easily to the off side and pick up singles, get off strike and frustrate the bowler.

I was once told you shouldn’t set fields for poor bowling and in my opinion needing a deep point could be considered bad bowling.
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Q: My son is a 15 year old wicket keeper and when he has questions we jump on youtube and look at wicket keeping videos. One thing we noticed is Australian wicket keepers like Gilchrist and Haddin keep the feet close together in their stance but English wicket keepers have a really wide stances. Why is that and which is the better stance for keepers?
A: Great question and I must admit to being quite surprised as to the number of wicket keepers today who have such wide stances.

I’ve always believed a crouched stance shoulders width apart was the better option as it allowed the wicket keeper to develop more power through their legs to move sideways more quickly to take the ball.

If a young wicket keeper can develop the power through their legs, it will help them take the ball on their inside hip (outside off stump and down leg side). Aiming to take the ball on their inside hip gives the keeper more opportunities to be in a better position to take the wide balls and catches. Brad Haddin was exceptional in taking catches through tremendous glovework and power through his legs.

Obviously the most important aspect of being a good wicket keeper is good glovework and being able to catch as many balls as possible. Having their head and eyes in line with the ball as much as possible is a good habit to get into and good feet movement will be very helpful.

In my opinion wicket keepers with wide stances tend to dive more to catch regulation balls and can miss opportunities with a lack of feet movement. A good keeper takes the opportunities others miss through poor body position and movement.

Best of luck to your son – if you enjoy youtube any videos of Ian Healy, Brad Haddin and Tim Paine wicket keeping will be very beneficial.
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Q: What's the best advice you've received in relation to cricket?
A: I have a few that have stayed with me from my early teens.

Batting
Always play the V between mid-off and mid-on until you've scored 20

Wicket Keeping
When standing back to the faster bowlers always catch the ball on the inside hip (outside off and down leg side) as it will extend your reach for catching opportunities.
When fielders are throwing the ball in from the outfield move and look to catch the ball on the full. Nothing worse than watching a ball being thrown in from the boundary and the keeper lets the ball bounce in front of them. Keep it tidy.

Captaincy
Communicate with your players and discuss and agree on their role in the team

Team
Enjoy your team mates success
question
Q: A comment more so than a question. We always talk about the importance of batters batting in partnerships and supporting their team mate at the other end.

A classic case just occurred in the 2nd test Australia v South Africa. Mitchell Starc last ball of the 17th over and Sarel Erwee is into his batting position with Starc steaming in.

Just as he was about to bowl the ball Theunis de Bruyn at the non strikers end has become very lazy and starts to walk out of his crease before Starc bowls the ball.

Starc quite rightly runs through the crease and gives de Bruyn a warning for backing up too far. It was ridiculously to far and causes an unnecessary break in play.

Sarel Erwee then has to take strike again as Starc runs in for the last ball of his over and is unfortunately trapped LBW and dismissed for 21.

Poor batting by de Bruyn in letting his team mate down and to compound the issue de Bruyn is out 3 overs later.

One wicket brings two.
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Q: How important is the captain of a team in the development of a young spinner and what advice would you offer the captain?
A: Captains play a critical role on the development and enjoyment of the game for spinners, especially young spinners.

Captains must be patient and support their spinners and most importantly communicate with them.

I’ve seen on too many occasions captains giving a spinner 2 or 3 overs with poor field placements and little encouragement and then taking the spinner off.

Depending on the level, age and quality of the batters spinners will more than likely need some protection until they can get into their rhythm and bowling spell.

Captains shouldn’t be afraid to have a deep mid on and mid wicket straight away and give the spinner some protection and allow them to build their confidence.

Make sure the teams best fielders are in front of the wicket. The best fielders should be at mid off, mid on, midwicket and cover and if they’re placed with the right angles they can stop the singles and will be in a better position to stop the big shots and boundaries. It not only builds the confidence of your spinner but the better fielders will build pressure on the batter and they’ll be more likely to make a mistake.

There is nothing worse for a spinner and the team for the batter to be turning the strike over with easy and unnecessary singles.

Spinners can be match winners and need support. The captain should always be communicating with their spinners about tactics, fielding placements and building their confidence both on and off the field.

Come on skippers, we need to do better to support our spinners.
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Q: Anyone know any Estate Planning lawyers in Brisbane?
A: Hi Peter, the Estate Planning lawyer I know in Brisbane is Greg Rowell from RHR Legal - /
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Q: Hi, does anyone have any good cricket podcasts they can recommend?
A: There are so many good ones but here’s three I enjoy

The Grade Cricketer is very entertaining - /

Once Upon a Time in the Ashes is good listening -

And I’m a big fan of the Howie Games especially with the cricket guests - /
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Q: I’d love to get some feedback on the strategies batters have to help them relax between balls and then be ready to focus and concentrate for the next ball?
A: I recently read Ricky Ponting made a habit of asking the umpire how many balls to go after about the fourth ball of an over as he wanted to make sure there was only two balls to go and in his mind he was determined not to get on the fifth or last balls in the over.

We recently played against a young player and after every ball he’d walk 5 or so metres towards the square leg umpire and turn around, walk back, and compose himself to face the next ball. It worked for him, on the day he scored 142.
question
Q: A scenario – the first over of an innings and the captain has set two slips, a gully, point, cover, mid off, mid on, mid wicket and a fine leg.

The bowlers first two balls are outswingers and the batter plays and misses both. Should the captain contemplate a field change and what would you suggest?

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