Thursday, February 21, 2019
Updated: Friday, September 17, 2004
Developing young fast bowlers

James Stedman

I've been wondering how much professional coaching the likes of Tapash, Nazmul and Tareq got when they were younger. How they taught to bowl, if it came naturally or were really looked after, followed closely and moulded into the players they are today. How many Bangladeshi children would have that opportunity?

People have told me in recent times that when watching young children play cricket on the streets a lot of them throw the ball. It's well known that the resources in Bangladesh are not the best, but are the best resources really needed to teach people the general skills of fast bowling?

I remember when I was taught how to bowl professionally. I was nine years old and at a cricket camp at my club. I'm sure some of these must occur in Bangladesh. The teacher was Queensland fast bowled Joe Dawes. All he used was a ball to teach me. He went through the whole action step by step and got us to try it out. Didn't need million dollar nets, bowling machine, fancy clubhouse, all it needed was a couple of cricket balls and open space.

One of many Australians teaching young kids the basics

One of many Australians teaching young kids the basics

Why can't this be achieved in Bangladesh? Get the likes of Manjural Islam and Hasibul Hossain to get some kids together and give them a couple of lessons on fast bowling? It would be very effective and would no doubt help many young children develop into proper cricketers.

Bangladesh has fast bowlers who have been taught professionally and someone should tell them to pass on the skills, the earlier people learn the basic technique the easier it is to develop the other essentials skills such a pace and movement.

One problem that is evident in the national team is the inability to generate bounce. This is most likely due to playing on flat, low bouncing wickets for so long. In Australia, most cricketers between 13 and 16 years of age would have some experience of playing on turf but play about 85% of there cricket on synthetic wickets. If you were to go to nets around the country, virtually all would be made up of synthetic turf. It was on synthetic turf last year that I really learned how to bowl the bouncer and catch the batsman out with some bounce. Synthetic wickets are good for bounce and if Bangladesh can use a surface similar to these for the young children they could well grow up knowing how to generate bounce and that problem at the top level would be eradicated.

Basic technique teaching and bouncier wickets would do the world of good in developing the next generation of Mashrafe Mortaza's and maybe even a Glenn McGrath or two.

The author is a staff member of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "Habibul_Fan" - editors