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Thread: Importance of good pitches for cricket development

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    State Vice-Captain Beamer's Avatar
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    Importance of good pitches for cricket development

    How vital is it for young cricketers to mostly play on good cricket wickets before they reach the international level? Are poor pitches a significant barrier to producing world class cricketers? It's not something that is talked about too much when problems with cricket are discussed.

    As a long suffering West Indies fan, I think it is the number one cause of our malaise. People not from the Caribbean tend to talk a load of rubbish about the rise of Basketball and US sports depleting our talent base, but I've seen and spoken to enough people to know that we are producing as many freakishly talented young cricketers as ever.

    Unfortunately, 90% of the pitches in the Caribbean are terrible and unfit for decent cricket, and I think this is making it very hard for our young batsmen to develop as we want them too. Our FC cricket was streamed online this year and much of it made for grim viewing. We saw:

    - Balls turning square on day 1
    - Balls keeping low on day 1
    - Spinners opening the bowling
    - Spinners bowling 70% of the overs on day 1 in some cases
    - The fast bowlers that did actually take wickets all had to do so in very few overs so we know they were doing an outstanding job. Miguel Cummins, Jason Holder, Sheldon Cotterell and earlier Chris Jordan all took wickets but were hardly getting a fair bowl because the spinners were always on.

    There was also some evidence of this in all our recent international matches against India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, particularly the last 2 T20 matches at Arnos Vale. We have the biggest hitting batting lineup in the World by some distance, why would we want to play against teams from the subcontinent on pitches where you cannot hit through the line?

    Are any other countries experiencing this problem? Does anyone else have a proliferation of substandard pitches at FC level?

  2. #2
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    The increase in the number of greentops and the development of a generation of Australian batsmen who struggle mentally to construct big innings isn't a coincidence.

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    State Vice-Captain Beamer's Avatar
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    Good point! Though it has also brought about a very promising generation of fast/medium bowlers IMO. But I guess you could argue that is just Australia's development system in place and that those pacers would have been nurtured anyway.

    I guess another example is Bangladesh and their proliferation of left arm spinners, without anyone who can bowl over 85mph consistently or move the ball much. Hence their weakness against real pace.

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    Headingly, Edgbaston and Taunton (maybe slightly too roady to be a good pitch) are the best pitches in England in my opinion and Trott, Bell, Kieswetter, Compton, Hildreth, Root, Bairstow, Buttler,Chopra all come through there in the last 5-10 years. If you produce a good pitch that allows good bowling to get wickets and proper batting to score runs you will develop good cricketers, it is integral IMO.


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    State Vice-Captain Beamer's Avatar
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    I think most of England's 1st Division county championship teams play on decent pitches. Certainly, they are in a different league from ours. Just look at someone like Chesney Hughes who does pretty well in England, or at least reasonably, but he really struggles on our slow low turners whenever he comes home. Having said that, Shiv was mentioning how bad the pitch at Derby was earlier in the summer so bad pitches can be found in England too, just not nearly as often.

    What bad pitches do is inflate the figures of really ordinary spinners too. Someone like Ryan Hinds should not average under 25 with the ball, and although Nikita Miller is an excellent left arm spinner, I'm not sure he should be averaging under 10 runs per wicket over a whole FC season! It makes the job of the selectors that much harder because they have to start going on gut feeling and what they see rather than stats or performance.

    If someone really wanted to help West Indies cricket they should invest in a complete revamp of all our FC venue pitches.None of this T20 league mumbo jumbo. The academy and youth system is in place,now it's time for better pitches.

  6. #6
    Cricketer Of The Year Agent Nationaux's Avatar
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    Pakistan is a good example of this. We produce bad pitches which reflects in our batting.
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    Hall of Fame Member honestbharani's Avatar
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    I dont think there is any such thing as a good pitch that can be used match after match after match that gives an equal opportunity to all types of players to develop their skills. I think what you need is a variety of wickets, ranging from greentops to turners and everything in between and beyond, over a whole season so that the FC players get exposed to various conditions and the picture you read at the end of the season is after a decent examination of their skills over a plethora of different wickets and overhead conditions, if possible as well as various different match situations. I think that is how Windies and Australia were great in their dominant years and that is perhaps why South Africa and England (and to a much lesser extent, India) seem to be doing better these days.. The uniformity of these FC pitches is what has been ailing countries like Australia or West Indies or Pakistan IMO..
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    International Captain Maximas's Avatar
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    For me, good pitches mean having a decent range of pitches, some should turn (like Sydney in Aus), some should be green or bouncy at times (Perth), some should play very well (Adelaide) and others should just be normal pitches. The individuality of pitches is more important than uniformity for mine, batsmen have to be exposed to a range of conditions if they are to be successful at international level.
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    Cricket Spectator Real 93's Avatar
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    Good pitches that have something for everyone is very necessary... India also has a tradition of either flat or spin friendly pitches and we all know how many good fast bowlers we have produced... Because of flat pitches in domestic circuit, our batsmen also find it difficult to face and bounce when they travel abroad...

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    A bit overblown for mine but it's worth noting that CC pitches during the 90's were pretty awful.
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    School Boy/Girl Captain Justo's Avatar
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    I personally think that pitches most impact with the transition between First Class and Test Cricket. Countries which have a good variation of pitches tend to produce cricketers better able to step up to Test level while those which don't tend to have players who struggle initially at the very least.

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    First Class Debutant outbreak's Avatar
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    I think it's hugely important and another thing that shows how different cricket is to most other sports.
    I've always wondered why noone has set up an exchange type system for first class cricket to allow players to experience other countries conditions, Say in the english off season some clubs send teams to play in the shield, we send teams to play in the county league and other leagues around the world. Mix it up as to who plays where during their off seasons. Or at least send domestic teams on tours now and then. For smaller countries like bangladesh let them pick an A team from their domestic players and play a season in the shield or county league. Let the windies send their top teams to play somewhere overseas and get some experience.
    Last edited by outbreak; 29-07-2013 at 10:48 PM.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outbreak View Post
    I think it's hugely important and another thing that shows how different cricket is to most other sports.
    I've always wondered why noone has set up an exchange type system for first class cricket to allow players to experience other countries conditions, Say in the english off season some clubs send teams to play in the shield, we send teams to play in the county league and other leagues around the world. Mix it up as to who plays where during their off seasons. Or at least send domestic teams on tours now and then. For smaller countries like bangladesh let them pick an A team from their domestic players and play a season in the shield or county league. Let the windies send their top teams to play somewhere overseas and get some experience.
    Wasnt there a period not too long ago where A Teams or Dev teams plated in WI domestic comp? I know England did at least once.

    EDIT Yep
    The 2000s also had teams from other countries included - as England A, Bangladesh A, India A and Kenya all played - as well as a West Indies B team built around university students.
    Last edited by Goughy; 30-07-2013 at 06:34 AM.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    The Lions also played in the Duleep Trophy in India in 2004 (?) - Pietersen and Prior were part of that team.

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    International Debutant theegyptian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    The Lions also played in the Duleep Trophy in India in 2004 (?) - Pietersen and Prior were part of that team.
    Can't see the BCCI letting that happen again.

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