Modernisation has its place in cricket, but at what cost?

shane Roar Guru

By shane, shane is a Roar Guru


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    Australia is not the only country who’s cricketers have workloads to manage. Much more cricket is being played now than in the 90s. Then there’s the IPL.

    Take England for instance. Jonathan Trott, James Anderson and Graeme Swann were not included in the one-day squad currently taking on India in a five-match series.

    With the Champions Trophy and 10 Ashes Tests upcoming, the schedule over the next 12 to 18 months is as demanding and important as ever.

    Rotation, managing a players workload, call it what you will. Excessive cricket continues to be offered and accepted as the reason for the growing number of injuries to players, but that doesn’t hold up so well with many fans of the game.

    With recent injuries to blossoming talents like Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood and Mitch Marsh, players who have not even worked up a sweat at the international level, we must come to realise that heavy workload may not be the only cause of all injuries.

    It may not be a bad idea for cricket boards to take another look at the training methods employed in the development of young cricketers as they graduate to the international level.

    It has become common these days to show a young cricketer video evidence of where he is going ‘wrong’.

    Often, disregarding things that come naturally, it leave us with a great danger of a sensitive, eager young mind being affected by the over-analysis and being consumed by the need to rid himself of the flaw, in turn, affecting the areas of his game that are fine.

    Modernisation can be wonderful and you only have to look at technological advances to know that, but one of the concerns in cricket today is the number of “modern” coaches bringing in “modern” methods, often at the cost of cricketing common sense.

    It’s difficult to imagine what would have happened to young Brian Lara had he been shown a video of how high his back-lift was. A 12-year-old Tendulkar shown a close-up of how his grip was wrong.

    The cricket world shall be ever grateful these incredible talents were mostly left alone by their junior coaches.

    A natural bowling action or a natural batting style is a motion that has the blessing of the individual’s body. Over the years the individual develops a certain style because it’s what the body’s frame is most comfortable with.

    If an unnatural movement is introduced, the body may eventually get somewhat used to it, but reluctantly, so it should come as no surprise when one day it starts to cause injuries.

    Cricketers who have had long and successful careers have one thing in common: they always simplified the game for themselves. Isn’t that a basic characteristic you desperately need in mentors – the ability to simplify the game for the young and naïve?

    Because of this modernisation, I always regret that the really shrewd cricketing brains in the game, like Stephen Waugh and Mark Taylor, have not chosen to coach. The game is definitely poorer because of that.

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • January 29th 2013 @ 7:04am
      jimmy said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      Hear,Hear! I have remarked under another article on Warnies recent outburst re training methods. They are clearly all wrong and not based on proper scientific research.Warnie is quite right.
      I have long opposed the progression of the coach’s role to where he now seems to be the boss. The Captain must retain the final word and be in charge of the team.
      Imagine modern coaches effect on past greats like Mike Proctor, for example.His school coaches deserve great credit for never trying to change his natural boweling or batting style.There are many other examples.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 7:05am
      Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:05am | ! Report

      Reality is , going forwad. You will see more specialists. I don’t think the cost, will be too high, as each 3 formats, generate revenue to off-set there costs. Just more specialists, or a player will focus on 1 format or 2 formats at any given time, especially fast bowlers.
      Shaun Tait and Brett Lee as examples. Whatever else T20 has been great for cricket I think. It has opened the game up to a broader wider audience, and new revenue streams everywhere keep popping up. Pakistan is launching it’s own T20 tournament, one is planned for the USA, which has big Indian, Bangladesh Pakistani, and west indies populations. Bangladesh has already had it’s first T20 tournament which was a hit. South Africa has one too, so the increased players playing, is off set by the more tournaments that bring in revenue to cover costs. Quite simple really.
      And places like west Indies cricket, stay alive, as they can now make money from T20 cricket. NZ and west indies, and sri lankan, bangladesh, ZImbabwe cricket would of faded away if it was not for T20 cricket being created I believe.
      ZImbabwe is also launching it’s own T20 tournament too, so it’s helping cricket go global.
      T20 cricket is booming in Canada too, which has a big Asian-subcontient population like the states, especially in Toronto.

    • Roar Guru

      January 29th 2013 @ 7:09am
      peeeko said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:09am | ! Report

      Do we have stats showing that a lot more cricket is being played now as in the 90’s? i also couldnt call a 20/20 match as a full days cricket as only 40 overs are in a days play

      • January 29th 2013 @ 11:52am
        Nick Inatey said | January 29th 2013 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        In fact, there was more cricket played in the 90’s. Tours went for longer and featured more three day games. Now three day games and tests are sacrificed for a T20 game or an extra couple of ODI’s.

    • Roar Pro

      January 29th 2013 @ 10:04am
      Brandon Marlow said | January 29th 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

      I always like to point out to idiots who complain about the “rotation policy” in Australia that England and South Africa(Two of the best teams in the world) almost NEVER play their eleven best players all the time. If you watch any international one day game you will see maybe 4 or 5 of the countries best overall players while the rest of the team is filled with the countries best one day players.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 11:50am
        Nick Inatey said | January 29th 2013 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        @ Brandon

        Yep, you raise a good point. However England and South Africa do not do a mass resting of players in home series. They usually tend to rest a couple of players on pointless ODI series overseas.

        Australia rested three players in a home series.A big no no. Cities like Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane get only a couple of opportunities each year to watch the international games. They would much prefer to have the best XI playing.

        I dont understand your last sentence. Most of the English, South African and Indian test team also play ODI’s. At least 7 from each team do. Same with Sri Lanka and NZ. I really dont know where you grabbed this ‘4 or 5’ number from. It is easily refuted.

        • Roar Pro

          January 29th 2013 @ 12:22pm
          Brandon Marlow said | January 29th 2013 @ 12:22pm | ! Report


          Well I just looked at South Africa’s most recent ODI team against New Zealand and I counted 5 of their top test players; Smith, du Plessis, Kleinveldt(Not really top but whatever), Robin Peterson and Morkel. Also, from what I’m seeing from England they have about 6 or 7 depending on the game, so yes 5 is about right.

        • January 29th 2013 @ 4:56pm
          Dadiggle said | January 29th 2013 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

          They rotate them. Steyn and Morkel will rotate. De VIlliers was suspended, Kallis rested, and Amla was injured. We opened with Amla which I think is a bad idea he is massive at 3.

          • Roar Pro

            January 30th 2013 @ 7:21am
            Brandon Marlow said | January 30th 2013 @ 7:21am | ! Report

            Exactly my point. Every country rotates players.

    • Roar Guru

      January 29th 2013 @ 11:21am
      TheGenuineTailender said | January 29th 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

      Patrick Cummins bowling action is terrible going by a coaching manual. That hasn’t been coached out of him. They’re finely tuned athletes. Things easily go wrong. But they are capable of performing at a higher level over a longer time than players of previous eras.

      We saw the 2000s dominated by batsman as technology and coaching developed a high-class breed and generation of batsmen. The tables are now turning again as coaching generates an even better generation of bowlers. If you want to bowl fast outswingers, you need a certain type of bowling mechanic. Coaching is allowing us to produce more guys with the technical skills to achieve at such a high level.

      Another interesting theory I heard was that “back in the day”, only bowlers with naturally durable bodies ever made anything of themselves and that’s what we grew accustomed too. The ones who got injured never made it to the top. These days more guys, who might be more talented than others are being looked after far better by physios etc. They’re getting injured less frequently than they would have in the past, but still more than the durable players like a Mitchell Johnson. They’re making it to the top first and then getting hurt. Sports medicine is actually allowing these guys to play test cricket. Which is a good thing. They’re only going to improve the science and keep guy fit more frequently into the future.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 3:15pm
        Phillip said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

        Sorry, can’t agree. Proper scientific research has shown that much of today’s fitness training is not properly applied to what is trying to be achieved. For example gym work has little relevance to many sports.See Birmingham Uni site for much interesting information.
        Many physios today are still married to yesterdays techniques.Skills based conditioning will achieve the best results, not gym based weight pumping. Modern day Olympic athletes now use far less gym type training and have reduced extensive warm ups with startling reduction in number of injuries etc.
        The emphasis is now on short and very intensive training. I am in my eighties and used to jog many miles a week. Now I spend just 2x3mins intensive sessions a week (running up and down stairs) and the improvements have been dramatic. 6 minutes a week vs hours jogging along the streets.And my aerobic levels, pulse rate,metabolism, fat levels etc are all better. My heart specialist at Westmead could not believe it but read the UK research and is now a believer.And I no longer have the hassle of gyms.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 4:53pm
      Dadiggle said | January 29th 2013 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

      I am not a Australian fan but can Australia go back to their Yellow and green Pajamas like in the Waugh era rather than this rejected Pakistan outfit they wear. Its horrible

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