Sunday, November 18, 2007


First of all, let me mention that these points have been compiled from my many years' experience as a player. This was brought out in the form of a small booklet and distributed to the young lads at our Mysore Gymkhana Annual Cricket Coaching Camps, with a purpose that they would enjoy playing the game and learn practising on these lines. I have put down as many points as I could - from my old school of thought. Old or new, these should hold good on any day, at least most of them. There is always scope of improvement, for innovation, for learning.

Each sentence is a 'point'.

* * * * * *

The primary requisite for any sportsman is physical fitness.
An unfit player is a liability to the team and may not find himself in the list!
Hard work is the one and only way to keep yourself fit (for playing in a match).
Muscles obey the mind only if the person is physically fit.
Cricket demands athleticism, strength, stamina, endurance, patience, concentration and mental toughness. Without proper physical training, it is impossible to enjoy playing!
Warm-up and stretching exercises MUST be done before playing (both practice and match). They make the muscles flexible and prevent injuries.
Muscles build up lactic acid after the event (long hard day on the field) and has a stiffening effect. Warm-down prevents it and makes you fresh for the next day.
"A healthy mind in a healthy body" : Remember this old saying, always.
Only fit sportspersons know what a "light, feathery feeling" is. Experience it!

Fielding is the key esp. to limited overs cricket. It requires 120% effort. Yes, 120.
Good anticipation is the secret. You will be at the ball quicker if you anticipate!
Prevent boundaries; ‘Extra’ runs should never be gifted away.
Back-up for throws must be anticipated at all times.
A fielder must back-up for any misfield by another fielder within his reach.
Aim the base of the stumps for a direct throw - hitting chances increase!
Good fielding boosts the bowler’s confidence. All bowlers expect support.
Always call to field/catch or leave the ball to the other fieldsman.
Always throw the ball on the full to the ‘keeper when there is no chance of a run out at the bowler’s end.
Always remember these: Catches win matches. A run saved is a run scored.
Without using illegal means, maintain the shine on the ball if conditions demand.

The wicket-keeper is the king-pin of the fielding side. He is there in every ball bowled in the game.
He should ALWAYS think that each and every ball would come to him.
He should ALWAYS be ready behind the stumps to take the throws and each time the ball is played.
Conceding byes and dropping catches are his minus points.
He should keep encouraging the bowlers and fielders because he is always in the centre of action.

Do not throw away your wicket. Always make the bowlers earn it.
Taking singles and twos is the essence of batting. Unsettle the bowler’s rhythm by rotating the strike.
Unnecessary slogging will lead to disaster.
Keep the good balls away safely and wisely select the ones to score from.
Run the first run quickly, esp. if the ball has been hit to the deep field.
Slide the bat near the crease on full stretch esp. while completing a quick run.
Both batsmen must watch the ball till it becomes dead.
Be ready to capitalize on any fielding lapse. Put pressure on the fieldsman.
Always call and respond with a clear YES, NO or WAIT. Make calling a habit even for ‘easy’ runs.
Bat the full quota of overs.
Never run to a misfield unless there is 'a two' in it.
Build up good partnerships and accumulate as many runs as possible, without wasting opportunities, while keeping a healthy run-rate.
One mistake will bring about your downfall. If the opponent lets you escape, make them pay for it.
A captain's dream is a 'batting depth' up to #11. But remember, it is the responsibility of the first 6 or 7 batsmen in the order to score the bulk of the runs. The rest is a bonus.

Put pressure on the batsmen by bowling line and length with great consistency.
Make the batsman play all the time. The more he plays, the chances of dismissing him quickly are bright.
Bowling no-balls and wides will be asking for trouble. That also delays over-rate.
Frustrate the batsmen with tight, miserly bowling. Think and bowl to the field set by the captain.
Make the batsmen earn their runs. Do not gift them away by bowling loose deliveries.
Concentrate on every ball you bowl. Bowl to the set field and plan.
Do not get panicky if a boundary is scored. Stay cool and think properly.
Conceding boundaries will only ease pressure on the opponents.
Never bowl to the batsman's advantage, if you have spotted it.

It is usually the best and most experienced player who becomes the captain.
He should lead by example, should command respect (not demand it!)
He should never forget that he is also one among the players.
He should try and make best use of the talent-resource available in the team.
It is his moral duty to have concern for other players.
He should not hesitate to consult others when short of ideas.
He is responsible for the team's performance, esp. bad!
The ideal position for the captain is near the centre of action. This will enable him to study the batsmen, the pitch and be easily available near the bowler for any tactical help.


Never forget the basic techniques and etiquettes of Cricket..
Use all the available protective gear for physical safety - boosts confidence.
Always play with a positive attitude (in the nets as well as in the match) and give your best to the team.
Never under-estimate the opponent or never get over-confident. Be self-confident.
Have belief in your own skills and you will perform well.
Commitment, discipline, dedication, determination and involvement to the team and the game itself are absolutely essential to succeed.
Results are achieved only if the players combine as a team.
Do not panic at any stage. Keep your cool and think properly.
The result of the match is immaterial so long as you have played the game in its true spirits and the best of ability.
With team balance as objective, only the best eleven players will be playing the match. Others should assist in duties like scoring, helping their team-mates on the field, etc. These are also part of this team-game. That is also 'Cricket'!
Always make a sincere attempt at whatever you do on the field.
Failing to make an attempt is blameworthy, whereas failing to succeed in the attempt is not.
Never argue with the umpire’s decision.
Be honest when you make the appeal to the umpire. Do not mislead him.
Cooperation with the captain of the team in every regard will strengthen team-spirit. Respect the captain and his decisions.
Avoid shouting at others esp. on the field.
Hone your cricketing skills with regular practice. There is always scope for improvement. There is no end to learning!
Consistency is the watchword. Always look to perform better than the last time.
Stay focused on the job (match or practice) without losing concentration.
Play the game in its right spirits and enjoy playing it. That is why Cricket is here!
Play in the 'nets' as if you are playing in a match. Do not be casual.
If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.
Play with a will to win. When the going gets tough, the tough should get going!
Experience the special joy of being part of the winning team. There is nothing like it! At the same time, be able to appreciate any good things the opponents show. "Sporting gestures" go a long way in keeping a good rapport with one and all.
Never become proud of your brilliant performances. Try to forget them then and there itself and be ready to do it again, in a better way. Learn to be humble.
Never indulge in unnecessary conversation with the opponents on the field. Avoid "sledging". It is of no good at all!
Diet: Healthy food habits have a direct relation to your performances at all times! Avoid "parties" prior to a match.
Sleep: Good rest is a must esp. before a match. There is nothing like a "good night's sleep" to make you fresh and energetic, both mentally and physically.
Never be ashamed to learn from others. There is much to learn from watching others. Be observant.
Become a "cricketer" not merely a cricket player! A "good cricketer" is closest to a "complete sportsman"!
If Cricket is taken in its right perspective, it will make you a good useful person in society.
Read about Cricket. Imagine Cricket. Be mad about Cricket. But NEVER EVER neglect studies. If you do, you will be "stumped"!
Always remember, no player is greater than this wonderful game of Cricket.

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