The England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) national performance manager and former chair of England Men’s Selectors, David Graveney OBE, has championed reform in junior cricket - having observed that many of cricket’s junior playing regulations work for the top five per cent of the game, but they make the game difficult for the other 95 per cent, particularly younger players.
To ensure children have an outstanding experience of playing cricket, the ECB – in partnership with Loughborough University – has spent the last three years engaging in extensive research looking at how to help boys and girls develop skills that will stay with them for life, alongside ensuring that they have fun while playing. This has led to new recommended junior formats intended to support children developing at their own pace, in games and activities best suited to their age and ability.
‘Marking and Maintaining Different Length Pitches for Junior Cricket’ is a new resource co-written with the GMA, created specifically for grounds staff and junior coaches. It provides top tips and videos to help: mark out appropriate length junior pitches and boundary lengths; prepare and maintain different length pitches; manage junior games on squares and outfields; understand how many junior games can be played on the square and/or match play pitch.
HELPING PLAYERS PROGRESS
The junior pathway has been developed to help young players progress at their own pace and play in games which are best suited to their age and/or ability and signal a fundamental change in junior cricket. More children are playing the game and, through All Stars Cricket, the ECB has seen an influx of children taking up cricket. There are now new pitch and boundary lengths for junior cricket for boys and girls from under-nines upwards.
To access the new resources and to find out more go to www.ecb.co.uk/play/junior/junior-formats