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David Hinchliffe
It's all gone a bit digital
It's all gone a bit digital


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The Latest Ways to Bowl Faster

Every bowler benefits from a few extra klicks on the gun. Research into bowling pace has moved on a bit since we last talked about it, so it’s time for an update.

But first a quick note, improving your bowling pace is mostly about your action. If you have a terrible action, none of these tips below will help you much.

You need to master Ian Pont’s four tent pegs before the ideas below will give you the edge.

Master those cricket basics!

OK, let’s get into the latest ideas on fast bowling. Click the link for details.

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How to Use Your Phone at Cricket Nets Without Getting in Trouble

You love your phone. You can't possibly be parted from it. The problem is that Coach has banned phones from the nets.

What do you do?

The obvious answer is to just turn it off, put it away and go play some cricket. That's why you are there, and the coach wants you distraction-free while you go about hitting harder, bowling faster and fielding with skill and commitment.

But we can do better than that.

We can turn your phone into a device that actually improves your game.

First up, we need to deal with the distraction element of your phone. It's a distraction machine, begging for your attention all day and all night: Text, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, Email, Calls, Twitter, Slack, Skype...

Even Pokemon Go! wants you catching them all instead of catching cricket balls.

So, when you step into nets, put your phone into Do Not Disturb.

Every phone has this setting, and most phones allow you to let important stuff through while quietly ignoring all the other notifications. For example, on an iPhone, if someone calls twice in quick succession, the phone will ring the second time. Handy for occasional emergency calls.

From here you can keep your phone nearby and not worry about the latest snap from your stupid friend distracting you.

So now you have a powerful device that is free of distractions, what can you do with it?

First, take notes. I know it's cricket not a history class, but we know how important reflection is to improving your game.

The simple way is to use the notes app on the phone itself. The standard app on most phone is fine for a few quick words and ideas.

However, you also need to go over these notes and check if there are any actions to take for next time. So, check out the PitchVision app, a service for your phone that lets you take notes per session, and even per delivery! It ties in to PitchVision's ball tracking too.

Second, use video.

Read on...

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Managing players used to be easy didn’t it?

Not any more.

These days you can’t move for all the admin you have to do to keep things running smoothly.

You’re not alone. Everyone involved in the game - coaches, captains and administrators - have so much to do that feeling overwhelmed is commonplace.

Time for a system.

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Build a Yorker Tunnel to Build Yorker Bowling Skills

Dan has created a “yorker tunnel” made out of speed hurdles, cardboard and sellotape. Something straight off of TV shows Blue Peter or Art Ninja!

It gives the bowler a visual target to go for, it’s static but very visual. The bowlers love trying to get the ball under the hurdle.

Some have managed to get the through the front hurdle, under the tunnel and out the other side without touching any part of the tunnel.

You guessed it…..the bowlers who achieved this are all guys who have decided to lower their arm slot when bowling a yorker!

Bowlers with a more vertical arm slot can also get the ball under the 1st hurdle but the ball rarely gets through the tunnel without disturbing the structure.

This suggests that the steeper angle gives less margin for error when bowling a Yorker.

It doesn’t mean to say that a vertical arm slot isn’t a good one when bowling yorkers, Joel Garner is proof of that.

But it’s certainly worth asking your bowlers to give the low arm slot a go and build a makeshift yorker tunnel of your own.

It’s been a fascinating watch from the other side of the cricket bubble!

Why don’t you give it a go?

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Get Settled in Your New Cricket Team with These Tips

How do you break through that awkward first few sessions at a new team?

It’s always the same. Nobody knows what to say and conversation feels somewhat forced. But you will be team mates, so its important that everyone feels comfortable at nets and during games, so that performance and outcomes can be maximised.

Every team environment is different. However, there are a few fail safe ways that you can make sure you feel comfortable straight away.

Read more:

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Bounce: The Forgotten Part of Fast Bowling

How much bounce a bowler gets is often ignored in cricket, but it is a crucial factor to how you bowl and how you face different types of bowlers.

In this article Waqas Zafar - cricket analyst - looks at one particular club batsman against two bowlers, who have quite a difference between the bounce they extract from the same surface.

As a result, the batter has to face different kind of challenges.

Read more:

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Selecting a Cricket Team is Hard and Thankless: Here is How to Get it Right (Mostly)

Being a selector is difficult whether you are picking the India team or your local club cricket XI. Is there a way to make it easier?


And No.

You will never get it right every time, but you can have a deep understanding of where things could go wrong, and where things have gone right in the past. This will give your the best chance of choosing the right team for your level of cricket.

Let's look at some of the unique challenges of selecting at club, school and academy level.

Read on here:

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Proven Ways to Win More One Day Cricket Games

The limited over shoot out is simple: Most runs win. But as the game has changed so much in recent years, should you revise your team's tactics in the format?

This article will show you a successful blueprint that you can use in your one day games. Think of it as general guidelines rather than laws of success, because conditions and playing standards will vary greatly. There's no one set way, but these tips will help you do better in some way.

The blueprint comes from a team who have had genuine success in the UK 2016 summer. West of Scotland played 19 matches (50 over format), the team won 14 and finished third in the league. You'll find out more as we go along.

Here are the tips:

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Case Study: Can You Use Control Statistics to Improve Club Cricket Performance?

This season, I have been conducting an experiment with a new way to measure cricket performance: "Batting Control". I have spent a whole club cricket season tracking and reviewing.

So, is control worth adding to your club and school reviews or is it one piece of data too many? Read on to find out.

When is a dot not a dot?

When it's a play and miss. When it's driven hard at cover who pulls off a great stop.

What about when you edge the ball just past the keeper through the vacant slips for a boundary?

In these cases, and many others, the score itself doesn't tell you who is on top, batsman or bowler. Batting Control (BC) fills this gap with a simple stat.

Developed by the clever guys at Cricinfo, BC is measured by watching the game and deciding after every ball if the batsman was in control of the shot. A play and miss or edge behind means no control. Smashed to the fielder (or for a boundary) means control.

For this experiment, the control was kept simply to teams, rather than individuals. It was tracked by a coach watching the game and noting the outcome on an iPad after every ball.

Why use control stats?

I decided to use BC with my club this season to see if it would reveal more about our performances than the scores alone provided.

Initially I thought this would be helpful in understanding how good we were at strike rotation. If control was high but scores were low, perhaps there is a sign that we are not making the most of every delivery and defending too many balls.

But this was guesswork. Mainly, I wanted to see what happened in club games with more granular detail.

Based on what I found, I figured could build more useful and specific training plans for the team by seeing where we are strong and weak. When you only have a limited time with players, as is the case in non-professional cricket, every moment needs to be used to its highest potential. This stat was aimed to help with the mission.

What were the results?

The club played 18 matches (50 over format) in the 2016 season.

The average BC when batting was 78.40% (range 74-81%). The opposition control was 73.20% (60-81%).

Read the rest here:


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