Interesting post from Mark Garaway on PitchVision Academy, asking for suggestions for a new indoor cricket school: http://www.pitchvision.com/design-cricket#/
It made me think about how I coach, and what facilities I currently use and value, and those I would like to see.
So, what follows is a list of features I would include.
Once the basics are covered – adequate lighting; floor surface with consistent bounce, pace and ideally grip for spinners; nets that can be moved individually, with curtains at the batting end and sight-screen curtains (in white and black) at the bowler’s end – I would start to look for some of the following.
- Tensioned netting around the outside of the netted practice area, leaving a safe space outside for coaches, spectators etc.
- So much better (and safer) than a brick wall if the hall is converted for indoor cricket; can also be used for rebounds if a bowling wall (see below) cannot be accommodated.
- Retractable netting across the hall space, to allow the playing area to be partitioned for safety.
- Sprung/cushioned floor for bowlers’ run-ups & delivery, and for fielding practice
- the floors in most indoor facilities are very unforgiving, more like running on concrete – surely it can’t be impossible to create a (lightly) sprung flooring system that is a little closer to turf?
- Bowling wall (also throwing & catching)
- I like the immediate feedback a bowler gets when bowling against a flat wall – bowl off-line, and you have to get your own ball back!
- Striated flooring
- See above – whenever I have a player bowling against a wall, I try to position them so they can work along a painted court marking on the floor or a “seam” in the flooring material. Painted lines look untidy, though, but how about using flooring patterned to look like carefully mown grass, with 1m wide strips?
- “Bradman wall”
- for batting practice; possibly with a (slightly) irregular finish (Bradman famously threw a golf ball at the brick base of a water tank), to return the ball at random; ideally with the option to install a temporary net around the wall.
- Medicine ball slam floor & wall
Not too much to ask for? 😉