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Cricket – A Graded Ladder

Cricket needs no introduction as it has grown from a game of selected elites to its present day mass popularity, where it is played at every street corner. With the advent of Television, the popularity has increased manifold and there is bound to be a lot of pressure on the performance of the player.

Besides, our cricketing standard is deteriorating due to various factors despite the availability of abundant talent. The good performance of a player can be sustained only if there are adequate facilities, which can provide and impart instruction and training on sound and scientific methods. Like in education where a student climbs up a graded ladder, Primary to Higher Secondary and College to University, Cricket is also a graded course to follow: teaching, or learning the basic skills and then training and coaching.

In teaching classes, a trainee learns the basic skills and improves by drilling or shadow practice, then he graduates himself in a skill through knocking and Net Practice. He is not eligible to play representative cricket unless he emerges confidently from these stages under a qualified teacher or tutor.

In higher reaches of the game, National i.e. Ranji and International level he must be under the watchful eyes of a Professional, qualified and experienced technical person i.e. coach.

Coaching is both Art and Science. The Coach detects mistakes or defects in a Player’s skill and tries to improve his skill for better performance. Mistakes, defects or faults very often creep in the player’s skill unnoticed, unconsciously and the player’s performance level goes down. Correspondingly, consistency and confidence also deteriorates. It is the obligation of the coach to help the player to rectify faults; and with that a player can boost performance and confidence levels and that improves in developing consistency in the game.

A good student may not necessarily be a good professor and similarly an International Cricketer or a National Ranji Player may not necessarily be a good coach. In India every state has set up its Cricket Coaching Academies but woefully, Basic Skills are a casualty in the establishments and achievements.

Cricket in India today finds itself in disarray and in a saga of deterioration and low standard mainly because the grass root mechanism lacks awareness of proper system and outlook of high standard and it is very much commercialized.

As one who has been for long in Cricket Coaching and training, I will produce some vital points of importance in Cricket Basic Skills in Batting, Bowling, Fielding and Wicket Keeping in my next series of articles on