2nd Italian Cricket Academy takes place
March 2008 saw a return to Grosseto for the 2nd Italian Cricket Academy (ICA). There has been a rapid growth in club activity in Italy and there are now three leagues (Serie A, B & C) therefore to accommodate this the Academy has increased the capacity to 21 players, all nominated by their clubs. Academy Director, James Cheyne, wanted to ensure the ICA could maintain the intensity of the previous year and therefore he assembled a team of six coaches. National 1st XI coach Joe Scuderi led the programme with Philip Hudson (ICC Regional Development Officer – Performance) pleased to have the opportunity to assist along with coach consultant Richard O’Sullivan and the FCrI’s own Development Officer, Kelum Perera. They were also assisted by a number of other FCrI coaches, who worked closely with the lead coaches, with the aim of developing their coaching skills.
Once again the players, aged 14 to 16, were made aware of the resources that the FCrI have assigned to the ICA and therefore the high expectations they had for their commitment and behaviour. Pleasingly the players responded with a dedication to the five days that resulted in evident technical improvement. The culmination was a 40 over match where the bowlers showed a level of skill to the point where the scourge of Italian youth cricket, ‘extras’ were significantly reduced from the norm, with only 5 wides in 20 overs.
All the players were required to complete a self analysis and refection process in order that they can continue to work on the areas that have provided them with a greater degree of effectiveness. Within this feedback process many players noted that not only did the ICA provide their first video analysis opportunity but that this was a vital element in helping them understand the exact issues the coaches had identified need addressing.
The challenge for the FCrI is now to furnish these players with even greater opportunity within the club environment. As over the five days they showed the desire to improve that is vital in the progression of any young cricketer.
The Italian Academy was part funded by ICC World Cricket League grants