Ladies 2015 cricket season starts off with a bang

Author: Jani McLean
On January 10th and January 11th, 2015, the Belgian National Ladies Cricket Team had the honour of attending a 2 day intensive coaching session with T20 international coaching experts, Darren Talbot and Robin Maslin.
After meeting the coaches for a good meal on Friday night, the ladies arrived (enthusiastically) at 10am on Saturday morning at the sports hall in Grimbergen, ready kick off the 2015 cricket season. We started the day with some warm-ups and a few games to get us in the spirit and to make sure that the holidays, the one month break from cricket training and the chilly weather had not decreased our cricket skills. I am pleased to announce that this was definitely not the case!

After the warm up, we started with various bowling and fielding drills. The ladies split up into teams of 2 where we put our bowling and fielding into action. Darren and Robin worked with each of the groups individually, analyzing our current form and providing us with guidance on how to further improve our skills. We also did some excellent drills regarding communication on the pitch. After lunch, we were able to put all of the mornings training into action, with a match! We were split into 2 teams, a captain was elected for each team and the teams were briefed on the rules of the match. The captains were briefed on their roles, which included not only focusing on the match itself, but also looking at the strategy of the team as a whole. This was exceptionally useful as the teams were playing the match not only from a battling and bowling perspective, but also from a strategic perspective. After the match we debriefed with the coaches who provided us with useful insight into the aspects of the game which the teams excelled at, as well as on certain aspects which could be improved in future matches.
By the end of day #1, our bodies were in desperate need of some refreshments and food, so we headed to a local bar where we enjoyed a few drinks and dinner. Needless to say, we left the bar early to head home as all of our bodies needed some recuperation and relaxation before Sunday’s session.

Sunday, the day of batting practice! Before getting started with the training we had a long stretching and warm-up session to get our muscles into working order as we were all feeling the effects of the 6 hour training the previous day. After warming up, we started off by separating into groups of 2 and practicing our batting. Darren and Robin spent time with each of the groups, coaching each lady individually after reviewing their batting form, and providing tips on further improvement. We also spent a good deal of time practicing batting shots on the offside, and finding that elusive offside gap. The training was definitely starting to pay off, and we saw many excellent shots. We ended the second day of training with 2 matches where we put all of our training into action. We saw 2 fantastic games of cricket! The first game resulted in an easy win by one team, but after some strategic changes in the second game, we saw an incredibly close second game, coming down to the last over. Once again, bringing skills and strategy together for an awesome outcome!

By the end of the weekend, we were all sore, but all extremely happy with the training – it was great being able to see the distinct improvement in each of our games, from an individual and team perspective. The weekend was an exceptionally beneficial training experience, as well as a great teambuilding experience for the ladies. The coaches did an amazing job, starting with the invaluable coaching, blended in with plenty of laughs – what a fun weekend! Thank you Darren and Mazza! You did an awesome job!

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am for the 2015 cricket season to start and for the Belgian National Ladies Cricket Team to continue to take their game from strength to strength!