POSTED: Tuesday November 25th 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Top Associates prepare for success at ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
‘Project Sub-Continent’ well and truly underway as High Performance Programme teams make big plans for the next two years; Scotland chief executive looks forward to 2009 and beyond
The countdown is on to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 (CWC 2011) in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. With the qualifying tournament coming up next April, the top Associates are already preparing for what will happen should they win one of the four places on offer.
Teaching players how to cope with the physical and mental strains of cricket in south Asia, devising a competitive match schedule, setting up targeted and specific training camps at the ICC Global Cricket Academy and linking with players’ representative bodies to make sure of the best possible preparation are just some of the initiatives currently underway.
The chief executives and national coaches of each of the six high performance Associate Members (Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland) met at Lord’s cricket ground in London last week for a four-day planning forum with all eyes now fixed on qualification for CWC 2011.
In what has been dubbed “Project Sub-Continent” the ICC is giving the top Associates every assistance as they look to close the gap on the Full Members ahead of cricket’s premier one-day competition.
“We all remember the exploits of Ireland during the last Cricket World Cup. That has shown what can be done and we want to ensure that the four Associates that qualify for the next one are just as competitive,” said ICC High Performance Manager Richard Done, who organised the forum.
“It doesn’t happen by accident. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication but thankfully those are attributes these teams have in abundance,” said Mr Done.
As part of the forum at Lord’s, the ICC held individual planning and funding sessions with representatives of each of the six cricket boards. There were also group sessions to discuss business growth management, entrepreneurial leadership, personal development and how to perform at the next level.
David Harker, the innovative chief executive of Durham County Cricket Club, gave an inspiring overview of the work that went in, both on and off the field, to turn Durham from so-called minnow to winner of the English County Championship 2008.
“The idea of ‘Project Sub-Continent’ is to develop a plan to ensure the Associate players that are at the CWC 2011 have gained the knowledge and experience to perform in those conditions,” said Mr Done.
“This would include an emphasis on batters getting practical match experience on those sorts of pitches, with an emphasis on playing spin but also how quicker bowling differs in sub-continental conditions.
“This will also link up with the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai with teams being sent on skill camps on the way to spending quality time in the sub-continent,” said Mr Done, who added the ICC was currently drafting a schedule of Associate cricket for 2009-10 to include ICC Intercontinental Cup fixtures as well as ODIs against other Associates and also Full Member opposition.
Chief Executive of Cricket Scotland Roddy Smith, who attended the forum, said: “It was an excellent opportunity to share experiences and issues with my counterparts from other ICC Associate Members as well as listening and learning from some world-renowned experts.
“Next year is so important for us with the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier followed by the ICC World Twenty20 and then an ODI with the world champions Australia. It is vital that Cricket Scotland has robust on-and-off-field plans in place.
“With the assistance of Manchester Business School and the ICC staff we believe we are well prepared for the challenges we face next year. As we enter a new funding phase from the ICC, the leading Associates must show that we are effective, well-managed governing bodies that have clear objectives and plans in place. The forum last week challenged and interrogated our plans to ensure we are on the right track,” said Mr Smith.
Two simple factors that sometimes separate the top teams from the leading Associates are fitness and fielding. One of the things that Ireland brought to the CWC 2007 was a high standard in both these areas. The forum discussed ways in which benchmarking fitness and a range of basic cricket skills could be introduced to provide targets so that improvement in player training levels and performances can be tracked.
Apart from Mr Harker, other presenters included Dave Aldred, who provided a view on the performance development of elite athletes having worked closely with several England rugby union players, particularly Jonny Wilkinson; former Leicestershire and England all-rounder Jeremy Snape, who has worked with many top players on the mental side of cricket at the highest level; and Gordon Lord, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s elite coach development manager, who continued with the national coaches’ own personal development.
Note to editors: the top four teams from the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, to take place in April 2009, will make it through to the CWC 2011 in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This 12-team event includes teams from Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, Scotland, Canada, Bermuda, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Namibia, Denmark and two qualifiers from the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 event, which will take place in Buenos Aires from 24-31 Janaury 2009.
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