[lead]Two players from Bristol’s Inner City Cup team had a unique insight into what it takes to be a professional cricketer during a special training event at the Home of Cricket.[/lead]
Mohammed Jawad, 20 and 18-year-old Ismail Asif received coaching from the likes of ex-Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman and former England bowler Kabir Ali at the two-day event at Lord’s. They were among 30 players form the ECB’s Inner-City hubs from across the country.
Jawad and Ismael were chosen after impressing in both the 2017 Bristol Big Bash and the Inner City Cup team that reached the regional finals. Jawad who plays for Bristol Pakistanis is a hard-hitting batsman while Ismail, who came through the Gloucestershire Cricket Board’s (GCB) street cricket programme is a legspinner.
The two day coaching camp was led by MCC Head Coach Steve Kirby with support from ECB performance coaches and ex-professional players including Gemaal Hussain and Ajmal Shazad. Day one featured fitness testing and fielding while on day two the players took part in batting and bowling sessions. As well as having the chance to learn from top coaches, the players were able to utilise state-of-the-art technology including the Merlin spin bowling machine, Hawkeye pitch-mapping programme and Pitchvision analysis software.
GCB community coach Masoor Khan, who runs the Bristol Big Bash and GCB street programmes said: [blockquote size=”full|half|third|fourth|two-thirds|three-fourths” align=”left|center|right” byline=”Masoor Khan” rating=”0|1|2|3|4|5″] “It was a fantastic opportunity for both lads and I think they learned a lot. It was a real eye opener to see the levels that are demanded at the MCC Young Cricketers level and has made them think about what they need to do to going forward to improve their game.
“It was the first time they had been fitness tested or had the chance to use some of the technology on offer and I think it made them realise there is more to the game than just batting and bowling. They both said it was a great experience and I hope they use it to achieve their cricketing potential.”[/blockquote]