The campaign for real sledging – or why there is a problem with moronic chatter

I have a confession.  I quite enjoy a little sledging.  If the fielding team decide to criticise my batting technique (and I give them plenty of scope for that!) I am generally quite happy to play along.

There is no point getting annoyed, or distracted.  A quick response and, 99 times out of 100, back to the game.

As a bowler, I see nothing wrong in letting a batsman know when I think he is lucky still to be at the crease.

And it is a game (at Club level) and I really believe that a little banter doesn’t hurt it.

For the pros, I guess there is “mental disintegration” as deployed by the Aussies (when they were good enough to win without resorting to this, but played the game any way).

I do believe there is a place for “verbals”on the cricket pitch.

But that does not include the inappropriate, unfunny, just plain boorish chatter, that we sometimes have to endure in the name of “sledging”.

My own pet hates and worst “sledges”

  • “He’s only got one shot” or “he can only play {insert stroke here}” – especially, as I heard it recently, to a batsman who had just cut three consecutive long hops to the boundary, and missed a fourth…what stroke would you like?
  • “more blocks than Lego” – (possibly) funny once, but not any more.
  • “wicket ball!”
  • “your man”
  • and anything with “buddy”…

Continue reading “The campaign for real sledging – or why there is a problem with moronic chatter”

“Four tent pegs” – twist

Very interesting blog post from Steffan Jones (former County player/coach (Somerset CC, and Derbyshire CC, ECB Level 3 & UKSCA Certified) and a Strength & Conditioning expert), on the “four tent pegs” drill, as expounded by Ian Pont.

“Drop step and block” (go on, buy the book!) certainly feels like a very dynamic start to an explosive delivery, and the whole drill offers a solid set of basic principles for bowling fast.

But the video highlights one challenge I have to the tent pegs, and that is the transition from “tent peg 1” (essentially, back foot landing) to “tent  peg 2”.

Continue reading ““Four tent pegs” – twist”

Performance goals (2) – putting some numbers against the targets

There has been an interesting discussion on the LinkedIn group “Cricket Coaches Worldwide” about the use of fielding analysis data recording at club level.  The (mostly full-time?) coaches are collecting more and more detailed data about every aspect of the game, and using it to inform training and development planning.

But one of the challenges that the coaches identified was that of data quality – you can spend your day (or allocate someone else’s day) to collecting all manner of match-day stats, but they can only be as useful as the analysis that you perform (and the insight drawn from the analyses).

I wondered if there were any simpler numbers that might help to drive personal and team performance goals.  So here are my back-of-an-envelope metrics for “good cricket” – by which I mean “winning cricket”.

Continue reading “Performance goals (2) – putting some numbers against the targets”