County or District…

Posted By on May 23, 2014 |


Before you start reading this post be aware this is really a post for myself so that if I am ever in this position again I can re-read this and hopefully learn from it… – maybe I will separate it into 2 or even 3 posts…

Rewind till last summer well about feb/march time… Will was dropped from County trails, the e-mail went a little like this…

We have selected the Northants Under 11 Squad for 2013, and have, unfortunately, not found room for William this year. Faced with 20 boys, all of whom would have been good enough to represent the County, we were given an unenviable task, and all of the players we have left out can probably count themselves a little unlucky.

In Will’s case we felt he had a lot to offer, but are struggling with the fact that he still tends to straighten his arm when bowling. This would mean it would be difficult for us to risk bowling him in a County game at the current time. While we have tried to address this issue in our sessions, the 2:20 coaching ratio has made it difficult, as it needs a more intensive 1:1 focus. We are aware that Will does regular 1:1 sessions with AP, and have copied him into this Email, along with the South Northants Under 11 Manager and MB. We have selected a 15 player squad, rather than 16, and we will keep an eye on Will, as, should he be able to sort this problem and prove himself in District competition, he could come back into contention later in the season.

 

*To add at this point never once had either of the County coaches expressed this concern with us, we were totally unaware of ANY ‘Tried to address this issue in our sessions’…

This email arrived about 1 week after a training session where they had had a major classroom session and handed out diaries, training timetables, folders etc… – I question why they couldn’t have left this giving out info until after they had made the final selection as it came as a huge shock to Will to be dropped at this time.

I won’t lie – I was thrilled but totally *&^%^&&** off and Will was devastated! angry, upset, annoyed…

On a positive he had an automatic place to play for South Northants District.  He had been attending the training sessions so at least knew some of the squad he would join for the summer.

So again – nobody mentioned the bowling action – we continued with the 1-2-1′s with his then coach and discussed it with him – he felt there was no issue.

 

Will was picked for every district game and we were assured he was one of there key players… however he was never once asked to bowl… not even 1 over.  After a few games in… (around beginning of August 2013) Will was becoming increasingly disheartened by it – Richard and I were seriously questioning what to do – how best to handle the situation – we kept telling Will to bide his time he was getting picked to bat, high up the order and actually you are a batsman predominately and not all the kids are getting to bat so… and its a step up from last year where you were lucky to bat or bowl… and so it went on…

 

August 1st weekend we went to Sports Fest… While Will was doing the Cricket session he was approached by one of the coaches about his bowling… questions like – who do you play for? – how many wickets have you taken for them?  un be known to us – his answer to this was I am not allowed to bowl for them as I have an illegal action… and at this point it all began to change… a chap called Mark Garaway  

Quote…”Ex wicket keeper, one of Englands top analysts -and high performance level 4 coach…”

 

We at the time didn’t know who he was, but just saw him come over  and begin taking a video of Will bowling on an iPad…

Richard and I looked at each other… shrugged and went well it can only be good news as hopefully they can help him… but our hearts were still in our mouths as to what they were going to say… 11 year old boys can be pretty fragile!

The come back was, according to MG the action was not sufficently illegal – infact WAS NOT ILLEGAL at all…  (and maybe I will post a link to the video for the analysis later… or maybe if you are reading this and would like to see the video message me and I will give you the link)  therefore Will shouldn’t be eliminated from bowling for a county or a district side…

 

NB parents happy for Will to bowl until he takes a wicket… then they all start to complain… on the same side or the opposite side… people don’t seem to want someone else’s kid to better than theres…??? I am still scratching my head about it all…

 

So where did it go and what happened next…

A strange do da of events… we bit our tongues about approaching MB about it as were waiting for the coach’s eye to be sent in… MG had a mis-hap with his ipad and lost our details… and a few more weeks passed – we pacified Will and our selves with it was being dealt with and waiting and keeping quiet was the best policy…

 

Eventually it was sorted out,  the video was sent, to someone high up the board at Northants and MB was in touch and the ball was rolling to getting the action worked on and sorted…  so it seemed…

but how wrong were we…

 

The battle was still long from over… and to be honest I believe we are still fighting it today…