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Madras master tweaks cricketers’ techniques

Former international spinner Ray Bright was on hand to impart his words of wisdom upon young cricketers in a series of school holiday coaching clinics held at the Bull Paddock. Back Row:Jake Robinson, Ray Bright. Middle Row: Zac Bourlet, Jonathan Hoi, Archie Corbett, Jack Corbett. Front Row: Archie Nott, Dustin Nott, Beau Bourlet, Hunter Pearce (lying down).

Shaun Brown’s cricket coaching came to Tumut this week as the region’s cricketing stars of tomorrow were put through their paces at the Bull Paddock on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The clinics featured Ray Bright, a former Test player who took five second innings wickets in the famous tied Test match in Madras, India in 1986.

The Tumut clinics were co-ordinated by Scotty Blencowe, who was a late call-up to organise the sessions, and being his first time, he appreciated the smaller numbers in attendance.

“It’s one of the smaller camps that Shaun Brown’s cricket has done, and as a first-time co-ordinator, it is nice to have these kinds of numbers, not too small, not too large,” he said.

Blencowe emphasised the importance of the development clinics and believes that they play a key role in the cricket careers of the kids.

“These sessions are very important for skill development and to build their foundations so they will enjoy their cricket later on,” he said.

“It’s important to be able to enjoy all aspects of cricket because they are still learning the game and finding out which part they like and we give them a go at everything.”

“One of the things we do stress is the basics of the game, and you see people at the top level and they’re fantastic players, but the one thing they do pretty well is the basics.

“That’s what got them to to the top and they continue to do that well, particularly in T20, they can vary it up a bit. The better plays play well across the three formats of the game.”

Blenncowe has vague memories of former international Bright who was on hand to help out, saying he caught the very end of his career in the mid-80’s.

“I just remember when he was retiring, one of my first memories of watching cricket was watching his second last Test,” Blencowe said.

“My dad in particular, who remembers him well from World Series Cricket, is blown away by his quality and talking to him only briefly, it’s clear he knows what he’s on about and is very switched on about the modern game,” he said.

Bright said it’s important to focus on the basics to begin with for the young players.

“I think at this stage, we really need to emphasise the basics ie batting, bowling and fielding, because that’s what will take them through a long and, hopefully, fruitful career,” he said.

Bright retired in 1986 after playing in 25 Tests and 11 One Day Internationals, and has seen plenty of changes in the game since.

“One of the big things that has changed since my time is the bats have certainly changed, I’d hate to see what Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards, and guys like Greg Chappell would do with these modern bats. In the old days if you mis-hit the ball, it certainly wouldn’t go for four or six, and you’d probably get caught, whereas nowadays it still manages to find the boundary without too much trouble,” he said.

With the rise of T20 placing further pressure on the bowlers who are already battling larger bats and smaller boundaries, Bright believes it’s an area of concern, but admits it makes for splendid viewing.

“I think that’s one of the problems in world cricket and perhaps the balance has gone too much to the batters, but it makes for great viewing and that’s what it’s all about, spectator appeal, be it on TV or at the ground and certainly the numbers that we’re getting for most formats of the game are outstanding, and I think the game has moved forward brilliantly.”

Right: Tom Stewart of Tumut showed plenty of promise at the Shaun Brown coaching clinic at the Bull Paddock on Tuesday