Pitchvision Academy


Mark Garaway has a fine fielding drill for you to get your teeth into this week.

Plus, there are tips on bowling, becoming a cricketer and some thoughts about social media.

Have a great weekend,

David Hinchliffe

Use This Wrap Up Fielding Drill to Ensure High Spirits and Direct Hits

I am continuing the throwing theme today with a funky fielding drill that encourages fielders to take calculated run out risks and rewards a group who work together to achieve a series of direct hits!


It's a top "wrap up" drill that ensures the team walk of the practice paddock in high spirits.

The set up:

  • Two sets of rubber multistumps put 22 yards away from each other.
  • Four fielding pairs - one at point, one at square leg - one on a 1st slip line and one at mid on
  • 1 coach or "starter" to put the ball into play.
  • Incrediballs and then old, soft cricket balls (so we don't mash our hands up)

The Coach or starter) puts the ball into play by rolling the ball into the square leg area. Square leg picks up and flicks the ball at the nearest set of multistumps.

The ball hits the stumps or narrowly misses and the point fielder picks up the ball and releases towards the bowlers end stumps.

The ball hits the stumps or narrowly misses and the bowlers end stumps before the mid on fielder picks up on the move and aims to rip out the the keepers end stumps.

The fielder at 1st slip picks up and pings the ball back into the kit of the coach or "starter". The ball then gets returned back in drill for the next square leg fielder.

Rules and scoring:

Set a number at the start that the group need to achieve to bring an end to the session. This provides the focus and gets the group working towards a common goal.

After you have fielded a ball you MUST move to another fielding position.

  • 1 point: Static pick up and throw that hits the stumps
  • 2 points: Pick up on the run and throw that hits the stumps
  • 2 points: When you have to go to ground to pick up the ball and then hit the stumps from the ground or with a pop up throw.

You lose points for the following:

  • lose 1 point for a fumbled pick up
  • lose 1 point for a unmanned fielding position
  • lose 2 points for a broken down circuit following a ball being totally missed

The aim is to reach your target as quickly as possible. Say you chose a 20 point session and repeat it 5 times over the course of 3 weeks. You can assess the progress of the group and the effectiveness of the session by keeping a log of the minutes and seconds that tick by.

The groups get really internally competitive. This is a great motivation to work with as it drives progress at any group of fielders.

If you have several squads at your club and school then you can drive standards and competition between squads and groups of players. Leaderboards in the clubhouse can show that the 2nd XI is outperforming the 1st XI and see what happens in practices after that.

I love practice numbers as you know, this one inspires teams, not just individuals.

Give it a go!

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Cricket Show S8 Episode 6: Cricket Captaincy

David Hinchliffe chats cricket with Mark Garaway and Sam Lavery. The team talk about modern cricket captaincy at club, school and professional level and offer advice for skippers and those who help the skippers.

Then there are coaching answers about player's getting distracted by advice, and regaining form as a cricketer.

Listen in for more.


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:

Or you can call and leave your question on the Academy voice mail:

  • +44 (0)203 239 7543
  • +61 (02) 8005 7925

How to Listen to the Show

Just click the "play" button at the top of the show notes.

Or, the show comes out every Friday and you can listen to it on your phone or tablet every week automatically. Simply choose your favourite podcast player and do a search for the show:

Or subscribe manually with the RSS feed. Right click here, copy the link and paste it into the appropriate place for adding new feeds in your podcast subscription software or RSS reader.

You can also download this show onto your computer by clicking the play button at the top of the article, or clicking on the mp3 to download.


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What Artificial Pitches Teach About Changes to Cricket

There was a report not long ago that the ECB are looking into artificial pitches for T20 cricket.

Immediately following the report, my Twitter and Facebook feeds were brimming with outrage and fury from England fans.


“How dare the ECB ruin cricket?” was the general consensus. And this report was not the first to fall to internet outrage. Only very recently a scheme by the ECB to bring the game to more 5–8 year olds was also attacked on several fronts.

The merits of these schemes can be debated, but there is a larger problem that has become obvious in the last couple of years. This problem, if left unchecked, is far more harmful for your cricket than any scheme.

The fog of outrage

You see, the internet outrage that brews up is a fog.

Every time a suggestion is made to make a change there is screaming to destroy it. So much so that actual debate and rational consideration is thrown out. Ideas grow not from facts and analysis but from who can shout the loudest.

Let’s take artificial pitches as an example.

Despite the idea only being “considered” by the ECB, critics attacked the governing body of English cricket for being crazy and out of touch. Others mocked, asking if bowling machines were going to replace bowlers next. Finally, people came in saying the real solution would be bringing cricket back to free-to-air TV. Forget this artificial pitch nonsense.

Whether these comments are correct or incorrect is besides the point. The opportunity to consider the idea rationally was blown away by the shouting of thousands of voices. And this was just a suggestion!

Most worryingly for cricketers and coaches at club, school and academy level, this way of making decisions is moving out of Twitter and into the real world. If Britain can Brexit and Trump can President thanks to the fog of outrage, what chance have we got at grass-roots to resist?

Take a moment

There is a lesson here for all of us.

When faced with the opportunity for change, take a moment to step away from the emotion, outrage and fear of the unknown. Become rational away from the baying dogs and consider all the possibilities.

It’s too easy to add your voice to “that will not work”, or, “all we need to do is get back to the good old days”. In the worst case you might even say “there is no problem here, this is fine.”

Resist it.

These words come from emotions, not facts.

Instead, consider changes, see what you can contribute to them and only resist if you genuinely can be sure it’s a bad move after detached reflection.

Maybe then you will think artificial pitches are a reasonable idea after or. Maybe you will disagree. At least it will be considered opinion from all the facts you can gather.

And certainly, avoid ranting too often on socil media, when taking positive, thoughtful action is far more likely to have an effect.

For more on dealing with changes in cricket, click here for an article.

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There's No Such Thing as Attacking Bowling

There’s no such thing as attacking bowling.

Or defensive bowling for that matter.

How to Become a Cricketer: 3 Mistakes You Don’t Know You're Making

You are certainly not alone. Everyone who has played cricket wonders how good they really are.

Some people take that wonder and run with it. Doing everything right to give themselves the best chance of success. Others take that wonder and think they are doing things right.

But the chances are that you are making one of these classic mistakes and it’s railroading your efforts to become a cricketer.


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: 451
Date: 2017-02-24