Tactics | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

What happened at the coaching conference?

Knowledge is a tool used by coaches to make better cricketers.

That's why the ECBCA conference is such an important event for all coaches: You surround yourself with such passionate and knowledgeable people, all of whom love sharing their knowledge of the game.

Selection committee: 5 Ways to pick the right team

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Throughout the summer on a Wednesday night, the selection committee of my cricket club convene to decide the fate of the men who make up the 3 sides.

The debates can be long and hard, but decisions are made and the team sheets are posted.

Often the choices spark controversy, not least in those overlooked for the 1st XI. It's a thankless task.

How to cheat at cricket (and get away with it)

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Let's forget the sales pitch for a minute: Cricketers cheat.

Play or coach at any level and you already know the whole "gentleman's game" idea is about as true as San Serriffe.

Balls get tampered with, batsmen stand when they know they edged it and sledging is commonplace.

What Manchester United can teach you about cricket

Premier League football club Manchester United can be envied for their glamour and success. But it's in a less obvious way that they can show your cricket team a lesson.

The last minute equaliser.

Over the years United seem to have become masters of snapping a draw from defeat: Playing badly and not losing.

How to use 'The Cube' to win cricket matches

A few months back, with little to do on a Saturday since the cricket season ended I found myself watching TV game show The Cube.

"What a load of rubbish" I thought as the show explained how contestants could win vast sums of money for doing a series of tasks. They were so easy Geoff Boycott's mum could have done them with a stick of rhubarb.

Stat Attack: Little known ways your scorer will help your team improve

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Admit it, you know your average.

Some players know it to the 3rd decimal place, some have a more vague idea, but we all love to know what our average is. It's such an easy way to compare players. Average over 40 with that bat and you are doing well, average under 20 with the ball and you are a star player.

But stats are increasingly having a place in helping teams win more games, and most teams can take advantage easily, even at club and school level.

Why the first ball of the over is more important than the rest

Teams that score the most runs from the first ball of the over are more successful than teams that don't.

That's a statistic that English, Indian and South African fans may have missed, but not by the international coaches in the new world of every statistical nuance being uncovered by laptop analysts.

6 Ways to become a better number three batsman

The number three position is the most difficult at any level. That's why the position is filled with the best player in the side: Richards, Bradman, Dravid.

What can we learn from these great names that can be taken into our own game?

Building the wall: The 1 sure-fire way to prevent a batting collapse

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Geoff Boycott has a simple formula: If you think your innings is doing well, just add two wickets and see how it looks. 80-1 sounds good. 80-3 is shaky. It's a nice idea but that safety-first approach can only lead to a batting collapse.

Plans vs. hunches: What works best?

As the old saying goes, "Fail to plan and you plan to fail". What happens when plans don't pan out the way you want, and where does that leave the instinctive captain who works on hunches?

Take South Africa as an example. The one day side were criticised during the 2009 Champions Trophy for being too rigid in their plans. Critics pointed out that when Plan A failed, Plan B was... to keep trying plan A.