Camp in Pretoria was supervised by ICC Global Cricket Academy coach Mudassar Nazar and assisted by Rodney Marsh and Dayle Hadlee
Richard Done: “Our top priority for the next 15 months is to provide the players competitive experience so that they can excel at the highest level”
Eighteen batsmen from the six top Associate and Affiliate ODI sides made optimum use of the first of four Gatorade ICC High Performance Programme (HPP) batting camps which concluded in the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, South Africa, on Friday 27 November.
The camp, which started on 16 November, was about assessment, basic skill development and setting up an ongoing programme for each player who will be monitored throughout 2010 by the ICC Global Cricket Academy (GCA) and the HPP member coaches in the lead-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
The camp was supervised by GCA coach and former Pakistan batsman Mudassar Nazar, who was also assisted by fellow GCA coaches Rodney Marsh and Dayle Hadlee.
Supporting the GCA staff in Pretoria was a team of experts including Sporting Edge mental skills consultant Michael Caulfield, Dubai Sports City High Performance Coordinator Andrew Russell, SportsMechanics match analysis and video support consultant Gurumoorthy Venkatesh and Dr Sherryle Calder of the Visual Performance Skills.
The six ICC Members involved in the HPP are Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Kenya, Afghanistan and the Netherlands, all of who had also sent their national coaches to benefit from the experience.
The Netherlands batsman Tom de Grooth, reflecting on his experience of attending the camp, said: “It has been a really good few weeks here and nice to be with guys who are in a similar situation as ourselves with their playing standards.
“It’s been a great opportunity for us to improve our standard of play ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011. Also to be able to work out here for two weeks on a semi-pro basis was something we don’t normally have the opportunity to do. We have had the chance to assess our performances, get the right mindset for playing in the sub-continent and take on board all the different team styles.”
Canada captain Ashish Bagai said: “The batting camps are a great initiative by the ICC and helps us to learn how to post a competitive total or chase a target when it comes to playing in a World Cup against top class teams.
“The camp also helped us to get in the right frame of mind for playing in the sub-continent and to have an opportunity to work with coaches such as Mudassar Nazar, Dayle Hadlee and Rodney Marsh was an experience of lifetime. To be able to draw on their knowledge and experience is great as it will surely help me progress and develop as a player.
“This was the first of four camps, which I think will continue to be hugely helpful to all of us involved as we can continue to build on our strengths and work on our weaknesses.”
The International Cricket Council’s High Performance Manager, Richard Done, has worked closely with the coaches from the six HPP Members to create a worthwhile programme that will help the sides to go on and do well at the global stage.
Done said: “Our top priority for the next 15 months is to develop their essential skill base, ensure proper specialist support and provide them competitive experience so that these players can excel at the highest level.
“The HPP batting camps are designed to give these top Associate and Affiliate batsmen exposure to different conditions and quality bowlers, particularly spin and reverse swing on the sub-continent – especially important for the four teams taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, which will lift the standard and performance of the teams at that global event.
“This in turn will help these top six sides to meet their greater goal of being more competitive on the world stage.”
Scotland coach Peter Steindl, who also attended the camp alongside his two players, said: “One of the best things about these past few weeks has been to spend a solid time with my players and be able to work with the GCA coaches, the High Performance country coaches and draw on each others’ experiences.
“It’s been good for us to play on turf wickets and develop more skills and although we didn’t make it to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, camps like this one are hugely helpful in our build up to both the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in February in the UAE and also the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in 2013.”
The players, who attended the Gatorade ICC High Performance Programme, were:
Canada: Ashish Bagal, Rizwan Cheema, Nitesh Kumar and Hiral Patel
Ireland: Kevin O’Brien, Alex Cusack, Gary Wilson and Paul Stirling
Kenya: Maurice Ouma, Alex Obanda, Rakep Patel and Collins Obuya
Netherlands: Tom de Grooth and Eric Szwarczynski
Afghanistan: Noorulhaq Malekzai and Shir Mohammad Shirzi
Scotland: Richie Berrington and Qasim Sheikh