Monday, August 16, 2010

Asian-style soft ball cricket for English schoolkids

If we want English schoolboys to both enjoy cricket and display flair, they should be playing with a soft ball. In other words, English school-kids should be allowed to play like Asians.

Instead of a traditional leather and cork ball, many Asians are brought-up on 'tape ball' cricket - perhaps using a tennis ball wrapped in gaffer tape. This encourages attacking, wristy batsmanship and unorthodox spin and swing.

Of course, there are plenty of good soft cricket balls commercially available with a raised seam, without English schoolboys needing to resort to a tape ball.

The hard ball means danger of injury, hand-jarring and help from the pitch. A softer ball means less fear, more scope for risk-taking, and bowlers who need to try something special.

So, let the ECB recommend *not* to use a hard ball in under 16 cricket, and encourage creativity and adventure from English schoolboys (and, with a soft ball and reduced chance of trauma, maybe more girls too).