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Spin masterclass under way

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Ashley Giles

Ashley Giles © Getty Images

The best young spinning talent in England has gathered at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough University for the ECB’s annual spin masterclass designed to develop their technical and tactical skills.

Ten bowlers and nine batsmen were selected to take part in the three day event, which was inaugurated last year.

They are expected to receive intensive tuition and advice from Ashley Giles, who is recovering from injury, former Leicestershire coach Jack Birkenshaw and John Childs, the left-arm spin bowler who now runs the Essex academy.

Conceived by ECB spin bowling coach David Parsons, the spin event is a mixture of training and practice where bowlers encounter different match scenarios requiring different skills.

“If we identify a scenario which requires them to practice certain skills, they can go off and with the help of Ashley, Jack and John and work on them,” explained Parsons.

The masterclass is part of the ECB’s initiative to develop new spin bowling talent in England and each of the nine young spinners, all of them playing first-class cricket or on the fringes, form part of a core group whose skills are being specially nurtured and developed.

“We can monitor their development and give advice on their pace and angles. We are trying to make sure that our spinners are more assertive and aggressive and adopt the mentality of a fast bowler.

“Traditionally, English spinners have had a containing negative approach but it is important we move away from that and that they become more mentally tough and positive.

"We want confident spinners who can impose themselves on batsmen. They are in a contest with the batsmen so there is no room for shrinking violets and they have to adopt the right mindset.

“We are not expecting miracles over the next three days but it is all part of the bigger picture,” he said.