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Day 2 report from the NCU Development tour to South Africa

Ian Johnston

Tour Manager Alan Waite reports on Day 2 of the NCU Development Tour to Cape Town:

'The first full day of cricket activity was spent at the Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy at Rondebosch Boys High School.

The timekeeping was impeccable with all the boys up at 6am for a 7.30 start. The sessions were lead by the academy's three senior coaches, who will all depart (© Ian Johnston)next week for India to assist Gary Kirsten look after the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

In glorious sunshine the morning consisted of net sessions and intensive fielding drills, and in the afternoon we moved on to game based scenarios. The boys all participated with great enthusiasm and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Highlight of the day was when Gary Kirsten who had just flown back that morning from the World Cup, made a special effort to come along and speak to the boys.

Photo right shows Ryan Cook talks to some of the players before they go into his specialist 'batting net' (© Ian Johnston).

He then chaired a session with the coaches discussing his coaching philosophy and how coaches are having to adapt to the rapidly changing skill sets required for 20/20 and more recently 50 over cricket. It was particularly interesting to listen to how when he took on the job of Coach to India he met the differing needs of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Zaheer Khan and MS Dhoni.

The wealth of experience and knowledge he has gained from over twenty years of playing and coaching international cricket was obvious to all. It will undoubtedly be a day which will remembered by all who were there, both players and coaches.'

Quotes on the day by some of the players

Craig Irvine - "I learnt more about my own game and technique.  I also learnt a different way of thinking when at the crease, 'Look for the gaps rather than where the fielders are."

Sam Wilson - "I've learnt more about the tactics of the game which will help me in my role as vice-captain and in terms of fielding positions when I'm bowling."

James Mitchell- " I found it interesting to learn more about the way the coaches and South African players go about their own games and to see a different perspective to coaching here.