Pitchvision Academy


It's a week of rants, with opinions fuming from everywhere about no balls, the future of cricket formats and developing young players.

Of course, we still have time for plenty of tips including lessons from the IPL final and stopping batting bunnies.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Is Simulation the Future of Cricket?


The Launch of PitchVision's Batting Simulator - the "Batting Studio" - at mainstream entertainment venue Bloomsbury Lanes in London has brought the future of the game into the spotlight.

The arcade-style batting lane, where anyone can face up to virtual bowlers and compete with friends, seems tiny compared to the behemoth "real" Test, ODI and T20 games. However, that doesn't detract from the wider implications, especially as this lane is the first of many worldwide.

What are those implications?


The world is changing faster than ever. Instant gratification is available with entertainment piped to you in ever faster ways. If you want to play a game you only have to reach into your pocket for your phone. If you feel like a movie or TV show you can stream it over your broadband connection. If you want to head out for the evening, the entertainment choices are staggeringly wide and relatively cheaper than ever.

Cricket responded to this flood with Twenty20. The IPL took it up another notch, turning the 3 hour game into whirlwind of celebrity, drama and hype. Alongside this, T20 changed the longer formats, with faster run rates, better fielding and more canny bowlers. The crash-bang-now culture is a long way from Test cricket's 5 days of glacial pace.

But it is the reality of most people nowadays.

The natural extension for cricket as entertainment (because that's what cricket is) boils it down even further than Twenty20 and into an arcade game played in real life.

We launched the Batting Studio last Friday night, and the reaction amongst the media, the boys from Ealing Cricket Club, the lads from nearby offices and university, and many of the girls and women there was remarkably similar: They were all engaged with game, engaged with the feeling of bat on ball, beating the field and scoring the most runs.

They were engaged with the game we love.

It's not "serious" cricket. No one is a professional player, the games are not televised to audiences of millions, and the pride of countries is not at stake. It is fun, realistic, and easy for everyone to play. Your own pride is at stake when you take on your friends.

And of course, it takes the fraction of time it takes to watch an IPL game.

What these simulators will do, as they spread throughout the world, is put cricket in the face of people who never gave the game more than a sideways glance. Each revolution in format brings more people to the game. It started with one day cricket, continued with Twenty20 and the IPL and will be boosted again by the technology that goes into simulating the game at breakneck speed.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to live in a world where cricket simulators are as much a part of the entertainment landscape as PlayStations and bowling alleys. It will drive more people into loving cricket. With the modern world based more and more on high-speed technology, simulation was only a matter of time. With the PitchVision-based technology on show at the Bloomsbury Lanes, that possibility has become a reality.


If you want to experience the Batting Studio for yourself, you can book in at Bloomsbury Lanes 10-pin by calling +44 (0) 20 7183 1979. Bloomsbury lanes is located at Lower Level, Tavistock Hotel, Bedford Way, London WC1H 9EU

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3 Simple Measures Turn Batting Bunnies to Run Getters

It only seems like a few years ago when every team had at least one batter who would walk to the wicket with his team-mates giggles carrying across the outfield.

We were all waiting for the inevitable death rattle as the "bunny" plays all round a straight one.

Top level coaches now encourage the "bunny" to think about scoring runs rather than just surviving with leaves, blocks and evasion. As a result it's common to see lower order players reverse sweeping and moving across their stumps to tuck the ball into the on-side for one.

So how can we develop the next generation of lower order batters in our clubs, academies and schools?


Change your terms of reference

Make batter into "run getter"

Simple changes in language strategy will shift the mindset of all the players in your team towards lower order batting.

In the teams that I coach that all batters are referred to as "run getters".

I tell all the players that there is no rule in cricket that decrees that the top order has to score more than the lower order. The number next to her name just gives the running order, not a change in intention.

Shift your language to shift player's expectations. Do this and watch your player's behaviour in practice change for the better.

Drive your lower order success with KPIs

What average would you consider a success for your last 3 rungetters?

What should they strike at?

What should a 9, 10 and 11 rungetter's scoring % be?

Do your sums, run some historical stats on your team and the most successful teams in your league and motivate your players performance with objective measures.

Bowlers love stats as a general rule. They all take pride in their bowling average, strike rate and RpO, Now inspire the by using batting stats to drive their practice and match performance.

Buddy-up practice

Paul Collingwood was buddied up with Monty Panesar during the 2009 England Tour to the West Indies. He worked solidly with Monty on developing his understanding of batting, on how bowlers would look to attack him and how Monty could develop his run-getting game.

When Monty saved the Cardiff Ashes Test match in 2009, there was no one more ecstatic than Colly. All those throw-downs, bowling machine sessions, chats over coffee and review discussions in the evenings were well worth it. His investment of time set England up for an Ashes Series win.

3 simple measures that will convert your Bunnies into run getters.

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Cricket Show S4 Episode 21: Dealing with Pressure

Pressure makes all cricketers do funny things, and this week we talk about the influence of pressure on teams and individuals as we look at Under 11 wides, the IPL final and team dynamics when chase a score you feel is beyond you.

Plus David Hinchliffe and Mark Garaway get in a rant about Jimmy Anderson, and what we can learn from his story of a changing bowling action.

It's a real crackerjack this time round. Download it now, or stream it from your browser.


How to Send in Your Questions

If you want to win a cricket coaching prize, you need to send in your burning questions to the show. If your question is the best one we give you a free online cricket coaching course!

Send in your questions via:

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This is show number 214

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Is There Any Reason to Bowl No Balls?

Long jumpers don't overstep the foul line to get more distance.

Dart players don't stand closer to the board to get more accuracy.

Footballers don't practice penalties from in front of the spot.

So why is there such an "overstep-idemic" at cricket practice?

Here is a perfect example:

Retaining Young Cricketers: Training Sessions

This is the 2nd in a series of guest articles from Darren Talbot of Darren Talbot Cricket Coaching and Head of Coach Mentoring at Surrey County Cricket Club. To read part 1, click here

Over the past decade cricket clubs have worked hard to get their junior sections more formally organised with qualified coaches, good player to coach ratios and generally much better sessions for young cricketers.

Older junior cricketers get many years of weekly, structured, brilliantly organised training sessions with a qualified coach.

Then they start going to senior training.



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: 257
Date: 2013-05-31