Coach’s Corner

Wednesday 23rd February 2011

Well the lesser cricketing nations have done nothing to back up their words at the end of last week to the news that the next cricket World Cup will be a reduced competition in team numbers. Canada and Kenya looked horribly out of their depth, and played some very poor cricket in the opening rounds. I am all in favour of encouraging the other cricketing countries to raise their profile and to have the opportunity to play against the big boys, but performances like they have started with really doesn’t help their arguments.

On the other hand for teams like Sri Lanka and New Zealand, it is a nice way to start and get some momentum, although even they will have not got too excited by the opening rounds of games. Tournaments like these are very tough for players and coaches. You want to start well, you want to gain momentum, but you equally now that just qualifying for the later stage is the key, and with no major injury concerns.

Mahela Jayawardene looked in great touch, and amazingly he has never played county cricket as an overseas player, what a player he is. Along with Kumar Sangakkara, he is the glue to the SL batting and, with Dilshan at the top of the order, anything is possible.

The Indians have started well, and I am sure we will see more explosive hitting from Sehwag before this competition concludes. He is such a dangerous player and one who will give bowlers nightmares! There can`t be a more destructive player in the game at the moment, regardless of the game or the situation. He talks about not worrying about technique, but you need to have a base to launch from, it isn’t as simple as he makes out.

Some great news of our own this week; Alex Blake has signed his three year deal,which is good news for all, and shows all the other young players how serious we are about giving them opportunities, and backing their hard work and desire. Blakey is a good lad, and I am thrilled he has decided to stay. I did find it a concern however that he owns up to watching Loose Women!

A reasonably quiet week in the office this week, with Simon having a few deserved days off, and having a bit of breathing time at home. He has put so much time and effort into his new role in the last couple of months and hopefully might even get a game of golf in as well. The other reason I`m pleased he is not here, is I won`t have to listen to him telling me all about the Arsenal, and at a time when my team are struggling to string passes together, let alone points, it is a good time to not chat football. Not sure Fernando is looking like a great buy, but time will tell, good job he wasn’t that expensive!

We are getting closer to the first game, and on that, I read last week about the discussion on portakabins! I have only said please make every effort to play the Gloucester match at Canterbury if at all possible, and we can always use the Academy building changing rooms for a one off match, and that way not have to move to another venue. I have to say though that the new changing rooms are taking shape well. I went to have a look last week for myself, and it does look very impressive up there, I am looking forward to seeing them ready for the opening game.

It maybe that all of us, players, coaches, members and supporters will have a little disruption to put up with in the first few weeks, but I am sure it will be worth it in the end. The ground is taking shape nicely, and whilst it does look like a mud heap at the moment, it has progressed very well, and it will benefit us all.

On a good note to finish, Robbie J is progressing well in Perth, he is getting overs under his belt, and getting the chance to bowl on grass before we get outside will only help his progress. I have also caught up with Azhar and Stevo, both back from well travelled winters, and as the players start to appear more, you know the season is not too far away. For those of you who tweet, I am sure you have followed some of their progress anyway.

Best wishes,