Advanced Cricket Techniques Academy
Seeing the rapid changes in the game of cricket these days, I decided to visit a popular coaching academy nearby to see how they were coaching...
Seeing the rapid changes in the game of cricket these days, I decided to visit a popular coaching academy nearby to see how they were coaching youngsters these days. ‘We have only the latest subjects in our curriculum,’ explained the senior coach of Advanced Techniques Academy. I was impressed. ‘Did you develop new techniques to improve batting, bowling and fielding?’ I asked.
He looked at me with a great deal of disappointment. ‘Anyone can teach basics. We specialise in advanced subjects.’ I scratched my head. ‘What advanced subjects?’ ‘Players these days need to survive in a tough, competitive world,’ explained the coach. ‘So we equip them right. Here carry these ear plugs.’ I took them.
‘First come the sledging classes. We train young cricketers to listen to hours of bad language first. Then when they are ready to burst, they give it back for as long as they can. Nothing in the world can bother them after that. It also prepares them for a life of politics later. No other academy offers this course in the world,’ he said proudly. I nodded. The young cricketers were good.
I used the ear plugs. ‘Next, we have social media classes where they are taught to use Instagram, Twitter and other social media sites to present themselves as intelligent and caring people,’ he said. We saw young cricketers busy taking selfies, posting and analysing feedback. ‘Then we train them to give press conferences, etc,’ he said. ‘In case they get involved in some sordid business and have to hold press conferences.’
We saw a bunch of cricketers standing near cut outs of celebrities, politicians and actresses in flimsy clothes, and practicing their lines. ‘I never knew cricketers had so much to learn,’ I exclaimed. Next we saw a bunch of boys posing in different poses. ‘What are they doing?’ I asked. ‘We teach them signature moves to improve their brand image,’ he said. ‘Like Usain Bolt’s pose.
We have branding agents to develop a signature style. Helps develop brand recall.’ I was impressed. ‘Of course, dance and acting lessons, marketing, finance are compulsory,’ he said. ‘But we place special emphasis on legal classes. In case they get caught in match fixing or bribing or something like that,’ he said.
‘Wow!’ I said. ‘That’s a lot of work.’ ‘After this we graduate to the next level where the real action is,’ he said. ‘Next level?’ I asked. ‘That’s where the big boys play. How not to get caught – on and off the field.’ ‘You teach them to cheat?’ I asked. He smiled. ‘No,’ he explained. ‘We teach them how not to get caught. Finer techniques like ball tampering, claiming dropped catches, etc are taught here.
Also how to deny everything with a straight face later.’ ‘But what if they do get caught?’ I asked. He nodded wisely. ‘Public Relations classes of course. To start with, they are taught how to break down in front of the camera.’ He had everything covered. Almost! ‘But dude, when will they learn to play cricket?’ I asked. ‘Oh,’ he said surprised at my question. ‘They don’t. No one wants to learn cricket.
There is great demand for these classes. Most parents want this exclusively.’ ‘Tell me, where did you play your cricket?’ I asked. ‘I never played cricket,’ he confessed. ‘Our partners decided that this was a lucrative business so we started the academy. Business is booming. Now we plan to expand.’ ‘Where are your partners from?’ I asked. ‘We met in jail,’ he said. ‘We were sports administrators. That’s why we understand the game so well. We outsourced most of our faculty from the jail too.’ And that final delivery got me clean bowled!