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Looking back but moving forward

Posted in Disability Cricket

We have now completed our final two games of the season during our Derby tour at the end of last month.

Both matches were an important part of our preparations for a tour to Australia in February/March.

The Deaf World Cup in New Zealand has been cancelled so our thoughts now turn to Australia, although the details of the tour has yet to be finalised.

We were set 237 at Denby in our first game having bowled poorly in the end phase of the innings but were bowled out for 128.

In the early stages we did well to stay in the game despite the loss of two wickets in the first over, but with the run rate creeping up and an inability to rotate the strike meant that we were always up against it.

The loss of Paully Allen, who started to impose himself on the bowlers, brought about the loss of further wickets.

For our second game at Alvaston & Boulton we won the toss and bowled first. An improvement in our 'areas' and in the field saw us chasing 208.

From being 83 for three, we lost another seven wickets for 50 runs during the next 14 overs. A lack of application and taking on the responsibility were the main problem. A disappointed dressing room followed in which players held their hands up.

It is worth noting that four key players were missing for both games, due to sickness, injury or work commitments. This shouldn't, however, detract from individuals not taking responsibility when it mattered, but we were not as strong as I would have liked.

In my last blog, I stated that my main priorities prior to this tour were as follows (all of these were implemented prior to the tour)...

  • Ongoing feedback from the players on their training programmes.
  • The physio and myself to regularly liaise regarding players' fitness etc (away from and during training weekends/matches).
  • Arrange for the use of Notational/Performance Analysis System for the Derby tour. The software will definitely take us to the next level and quite simply provide us with facts. Facts that can be used to analyse most things you want during games.
  • Meet with Ron Young (assistant coach) prior to the Derby tour to discuss current squad, potential squad and the key things that we now need to focus on to make us into a World Cup winning side (which will form the basis of the squad’s preparations in the winter).

Whilst we continue to work well and the environment we are creating is excellent, we must now remain very specific on the key things that will make the difference.

There is a danger of trying to cram in too much in limited contact time with the players. We have decided on the key things and that will be our focus in our winter preparations.

Coaches, physio, management, interpreter, scorer and players now need to be concerned with results. A squad will be picked that is capable of delivering the results along with demonstrating their understanding of what is expected of them.

Players and management therefore have a duty to maintain the right environment at our forthcoming training sessions at Shrewsbury School from October onwards. I am pleased that we also have a structure in place to identify other players via the Lions squad.

Whilst the Deaf Squad now starts to focus on Melbourne in February or March 2011, I hope everyone has enjoyed their 2010 season.

Enjoy the break but don't put the kit in a damp, dusty garage or loft. You will regret it come the start of indoor nets on January 11.

For me, the winter involves watching my beloved Accrington Stanley as one of a handful of season ticket holders. The pies are great and the bovril is hot. Fleetwood Town and Farsley Celtic will also be on the agenda this season, though the pies are not as good as Accy Stanley.

It will soon be summer.

Thanks for reading.