Pitchvision Academy


Big prizes to be won this week as Kevin Pietersen equipment and coaching is on offer to all newsletter readers. Find out how to enter below.

Plus, there is a plethora of coaching advice from Richard Levi’s six hitting secrets to Michael Vaughan’s sweeps to how to guarantee a strike bowler.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

The Big Switch Competition: Play a Switch Hit to Bag Kevin Pietersen Prizes

Here's your chance to win some incredible prizes AND prove you are the most creative batter in your cricket club, office, factory or bedroom!

To celebrate the forthcoming launch of Keep Calm and Smash It, the exclusive online coaching course from Kevin Pietersen, we are giving away;

An Adidas cricket bat!

Adidas gloves and batting pads!

Free enrolment onto both Keep Calm and Smash It online coaching courses!


£150 to spend on further coaching courses on PitchVision Academy!

Plus 4 runner-up prizes of Free enrolment onto both Keep Calm and Smash It online coaching courses.


KP is known for his switch hit, so as a tribute we are asking you to show you what you have in your switch hit locker.

Can you reverse it? Even if you can't you still have a chance to win!

Are you having nets at the moment? Even if you are not, you still have the chance to win with a rolled up newspaper!

To win the prize all you need to do is film yourself playing a switch hit wherever you are, upload it to YouTube and send us the link  (or just text an mms message to +44 (0) 7758 829339)

Our panel of judges will choose the best one to win, and four runners-up.

You don’t have to be in the nets as there is an equal chance of winning for shots played in any situation.

in fact, we like the funny stuff more.

Get creative!

Perhaps you are in the office with a rolled up bit of newspaper.

Maybe you are in the bath and switching your rubber duck.
The more creative you are the better.

Points will be awarded for technical ability, style and unusual or funny situations.

  1. Film yourself  with your smart phone or digital camera playing the switch hit
  2. Upload it to YouTube,
  3. Email the link to coach@pitchvision.com (or send it to our twitter, or text it to +44 (0) 7758 829339)

Do a good job and you could be smashing it yourself! 

Full terms and conditions here.

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Coaching the Sweep: The Hard Sweep

In the first of three articles on sweeping spinners, I look at the hard sweep: The ‘normal’ sweep where the ball is hit out towards the square leg boundary along the ground.

Many commentators are very critical on the shot and its use in any format of the game.

This, in turn causes players and coaches to be very cautious with its use in training sessions and development programmes.

But used correctly it is a simple, effective shot that anyone can play well.

Andy Flower was one of the best sweepers that I have ever watched, played with or against. Andy used sweeps and reverse sweeps to great effect. Andy was very clear on when he used the sweep shot and when it became a viable option.

He always talks about using your straight batted shots first to score runs.

However, the hard sweep is an excellent option when:
  • The pitch condition deteriorates and takes the straight batted scoring options out of play
  • The match situation dictates the need for a boundary and the hard sweep is a practiced strength
  • The field setting of the opposition captain blocks out straight batted scoring options
  • You need to move a fielder to open up an easy scoring option/area

Can any of these excellent consideration points help you to make better decisions regarding spin play?

Sweep technique

I was working with Michael Vaughan last week for Super Skills Travel in St Vincent. We coached children aged 5 - 15 to sweep and Michael demonstrated the technique which enabled him to dominate Shane Warne in the 2002/3 Ashes Series.

The key points were:
  • Head and front shoulder lead the motion to the ball: often players over stride and lead the movement with the front foot causing problems later on in the shot.
  • Hands and bat go high and wide to initiate the swing of the bat.
  • Michael's head position is low to the ball (more control and power) and in advance of the front pad. This is crucial. It enables the hands and arms to fully extend to the ball and prevents the hands from getting tangled up against the pads. Many players find that they struggle to keep their heads in advance of the front knee. Often this is due to the back knee being in contact with the ground and therefore, pulls the weight and head back. Ask the player to keep the back knee slightly off the ground through the downswing and contact as this will facilitate a more advanced head position in the shot.
  • The bat swings from high and wide enabling Michael to hit down on the ball and to counteract any extremes in bounce from the pitch (especially important if the player is sweeping out of rough patches on the pitch).
  • The head position remains still way after the ball has been struck. Many players miss the ball as they move their eyes and head to the direction that they intend to hit the ball. Michael’s demonstration and our coaching tips ensured that the players kept their head still through and beyond the contact area.  

The upshot was that the young players were able to use the shot to great effect in our games and most importantly in the match against the parents at the end of our coaching week.

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Cricket Show 150: Win Kevin Pietersen Prizes

The team announce your chance to win a feast of Kevin Pietersen prizes this week. Click here to enter.

But it’s not all grabbing swag. There is also a host of advice from David, Burners and Mark Garaway. The importance of “bench strength” is discussed in the light of India, Australia and Sri Lanka in a very heavy period of ODIs.

Readers’ questions are answered on choosing a captain and how to perform again after a good performance. Also, ECB rep level coach Paul Williams guests with some advice on coaching talented youngsters from the club game. 


How to Get in Touch With the Show

Our contact email can be found here.

Use our twitter or facebook accounts.

Or you can call and leave a message (it’s an answer phone, not manned but we check it every day). If it’s a good story or question we will call you back for a chat.

  • UK  +44 (0) 208 816 7691
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  • USA: +1 347 722 1981

How to Listen to the Show

You can download the show onto your computer by right clicking on the link below and choosing "Save Target as..."

You can also subscribe to the show:

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If you don't use iTunes You can add the feed manually.

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Guaranteed: A Genuine Strike Bowler for Your Club

Every club at every level craves a genuinely quick, aggressive fast bowler. They win games.

Some say it’s the luck of the draw: talented young bowlers are born, not made.


No one is born to be a bowler. Every successful fast bowler in history had to learn how to bowl fast and accurately. That means you don’t have to wait for God-given talent to arrive at your club. You can mould the young players you already have into demons.

It all boils down to three simple laws:

The Richard Levi Guide to Twenty20 Six Hitting

Relative unknown batsman Richard Levi broke two world records on his way to a Twenty20 hundred, making Chris Gayle look more like Chris Tavarè.

His hundred came in a record-smashing 45 balls and in total he smote 13 sixes; 3 more than the previous record. He trended worldwide on twitter.

How did he do it?

Some people will put it down to natural talent. Others will say he just had a big slice of luck.

But really it’s the result of hard work built on some excellent physical skills.

Here are the 5 reasons Richard Levi can make six hitting look like a stroll in the park.


About PitchVision Academy

Welcome to this week's guide to playing and coaching better cricket.

I'm David Hinchliffe and I'm Director of the PitchVision Academy team. With this newsletter you are benefitting directly from over 25 Academy coaches. Our skills include international runs and wickets, first-class coaching, cutting-edge research and real-life playing experience.

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Issue: 191
Date: 2012-02-24