Old Parks has an edge this cricket season

Back: Coaches, Doug Neilson, Sydwell Ndlovu and junior cricket chairperson Duncan Craggs. Middle: Nicholas van Niekerk, Tristan West and Shavir Maharaj. Front: Ben van Rheede and Ryan Stein.

 

While cricket clubs across the country are getting ready for the start of the season, cricket balls have been bowled, smashed and caught at the Old Parktonian Sports Club every Saturday since April.

The Old Parks Junior Cricket Winter Programme has ensured that the club’s youngsters will be fighting fit, and have improved skills before the season kicks off in September. The cricket club’s chairperson, Doug Neilson has worked alongside other coaches on young players’ techniques for five months.

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“We have worked on everything – batting and bowling skills, actions, timing, concentration, correcting what the youngsters have learned incorrectly from their schools,” said Neilson, who played for Transvaal from 1972–83. The Transvaal team was known as the ‘Mean Machine’ during the 70s and 80s, and dominated South African cricket with the likes of Jimmy Cook, Graeme Pollock, Clive Rice, Ray Jennings and Peter May. Old Parks certainly benefits from Neilson’s experience.

“I have learned new techniques and better ways to bat and bowl,” said Ryan Stein (11), who added that this would also help him when he plays for Craighall Primary School. Shavir Maharaj (10) said he had improved his bowling action. “I can also hit the ball straight and defend properly,” he said.

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Neilson added that the club was ready to go, save for one thing: The club is still looking for sponsors to repair or replace their sight screen, and they need more floodlights and a net at the end of the field to keep balls from being lost when batsmen hit them too far.

Details: Old Parktonian Sports Club, 011 789 3274/5.

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  AUTHOR
Nicholas Zaal

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