Mike Brearley, the greatest England captain, once wondered why cricketers did not turn to people they trusted to advise them more. Perhaps its the individual nature of the game that makes players feel alone? But whatever the reason, Brearley advocated the use of a guru you trust to help you get to where you want to go.
Finding a guru is going to be very personal for players. He or she will be someone you trust deeply and know will advise in the best way. That's something you dont get much of on the internet, but in the spirit of gurus in general here is my personal list of cricket gurus that anyone can use.
- Alan Pearson - A former Director of Rugby is not an obvious choice for a cricket guru. But Alan is creator of the SAQ Cricket books and equipment and has done more to bring practical application of sports science to cricket than anyone else. Players like Marcus Trescothick and Graham Gooch are long time fans of the SAQ path.
- Ian Pont - Another man to break from tradition, Ian Pont is coach to Darren Gough (among others) and uses cutting edge techniques to get maximum speed out of his bowlers. Whats more, he lets others in on the secret through his online training course: How to bowl faster.
- E.M. Rose - This chap is a bit of a mystery to me, but he has inspired almost every game I play in or watch. Back in the 80s I read his book called The Skippers Guide. It changed the way I think about cricket tactics forever. If you can find this (out of print) book anywhere then track it down. Its still as relevant today as it was 20 years ago, especially in declaration cricket.
- Greg Chappell - Plenty of top class cricketers go on to coach. Not many employ the services of a biomechanics expert to debunk the myths and rewrite the coaching book. Gregs Chappell Way does exactly this. Plus he is a top flight coach. A man to admire and learn from.
- Will Luke - Will is the cricket blogger. He has the biggest readership, the dream job and a gaggle of Kevin Pieterson fans flocking to his site. If you are thinking of starting a cricket blog, The Corridor is the place to start to see how its done. Heck, I even nicked a couple of ideas myself.
- Mike Brearley - All top international sides employ psychologists these days. Before that became common, Brearley was captain and psychologist in one. Few captains at any level have had his success at bringing the best out of people. While the role of a club captain may be slightly different (no need to be media savvy is there), we can all learn from his methods as outlined in The Art of Captaincy.
So those are my gurus. Who is your cricket guru?