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“Cricket 2022” – the “master plan” (first draft)

Darren Talbot posted an impassioned blog last week: View from the Coach: Where’s the plan for cricket in England & Wales?

I am more positive about All Stars Cricket than Darren, but I do agree with his prognosis – introducing a new entry-level offering for 5-8 year olds can only be the start of a five (or 10) year plan to bring players back to the game, and as yet there is little discernible evidence of that master plan from the ECB.

So – what should the game look like in five years?

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Bring the ropes in…a conversation with @ballsrightsreas

Interesting conversation with Dave C, aka @ballsrightareas, on setting boundaries for junior cricket.

Should we bring the ropes in, to encourage batters to (try to) hit boundaries?

But risk having games dominated by batters mis-hitting 6s?

Or set the line back, and reward the strokeplayers who can exploit the wide open spaces?

But see games dragged out as young fielders trudge after the ball as it pulls up short of a full-size boundary?

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Last Man Stands – is this the way forward for recreational cricket?

One of the challenges for ECB Coaches working in the Club sector is the constant turn-over of players, especially after they leave the established Colts’ set-up, generally after U16.

At my own Club, we have more than 70 players in the junior section, from 8-years old upwards.  If we are lucky, we might see four or five join the senior Club (and probably fewer than that stay with the Club into their twenties).

I am sure that there are complex social reasons for this, but perhaps the biggest challenge for Clubs, County Associations, and coaches is to provide a form of the game that is accessible and enjoyable for the younger players before they are lost to adulthood.

With support from County Boards and local councilsLast Man Stands might just be that format.  Offering competitive cricket, played at local venues, for players not able (or willing) to commit to a full day of competitive league cricket on a Saturday or Sunday, LastManStands could be a bridge between Colts cricket and the senior Club game.