Two of the Spanish Academy Squad followed up their two T-Twenty games with the Tom Maynard Trust with a training session at Desert Springs with some of the bowlers from Sussex County Cricket Club.
Ravi Panchal of La Manga and Jamie Roper of Sporting Alfas were chosen by the Cricket Espana management to sample this unique experience and Ravi decided to share his experiences with the CE Website.
Below is Ravi’s diary of events for the day …
My day with Sussex CCC :
“Jamie Roper and myself recently recieved a emais from Manny Fernandez, the new manager for the Spanish national team. The email was about having an exclusive bowling camp with Sussex County Cricket Cub, with out any thinking we responded to the email with a definate YES. We left early morning to go to Desert Springs (Almeria), Andy House of Sport Europa was also travelling up there so we decided to all go togther in one car as this was our first time visiting the resort. The journey was long but with the company of Jamie and Andy the time flew and within hours we had arrived at the venue.
We then went straight to the café and had our morning coffee and croissants, where we were welcomed by the staff and had a moment to take in the views and surroundings of the resort. Once we had finished we took a 5 mins drive down to the nets where we met Jon Lewis the Sussex bowling coach. We introduced ourselves and we were told to warm up as we were to start bowling in the nets and get a proffesional analysis from players and the staff.
Spikes were on and warm ups were done, and we had been allocated the far net where we would be bowling against Tymal Mills and other Sussex players. The Sussex guys were very friendly and kept talking to us and giving us advice on our bowling skills and techniques. We were told to bowl 6 ball overs to make the nets more realistic, the same as if we were in a match situation which made sense. Bowling with spikes in Spain was a weird feeling as we are used to only playing on artificial wickets. Nevertheless we adjusted to the grass net wickets and started bowling. We would have liked to bowl against all the players, but several were on strict orders by the head coach, but nevertheless, we bowled and bowled at some of the Sussex players until the batters were satisfied. I was pleased on how my bowling went and by taking Tymal Mills’s stumps out twice just summed up the day and made it that bit special.
We had a good 2 hours of bowling in the nets, and then we was told that the players were off to the gym, so we packed our gear and we stayed around and visualised the players game and bowling skills. Jon Lewis had told me and Jamie to get together and watch Lewis Hatchett bowling with a new ball, as Jamie and me are opening bowlers. It was of great benefit to see what he does and compare it to our bowling. He set up a simple drill where he had to bowl in to a gap of 2 stumps and get the ball swinging and hitting the right lengths. Just by watching the bowlers we learn’t a lot, whether it be their action, or their run up. The speed at which they bowled at was great to see because in the future we both would like to aim to hit those speeds and become succesful bowlers. It was also amazing to see how incredibly fit the players are and how important fitness is to become a succesful cricketer.
The time came where we had to leave and let the guys carry on their pre season preparations, so we said our thankyou’s and goodbyes and took a few photos. Just like to say thankyou to Sussex for giving us the opportunity to take part in their session and getting some very good tips and guidance. Also, thanks to Andy House for all is never ending hard work he does for Spanish cricket, and most importantly the CE and committee for nominating Jamie and myself for this great opportunity”.
Ravi Panchal (Spain National Team)
As echoed by Ravi, many thanks to all involved in making this happen, and special thanks to Sussex CCC and their coach Jon Lewis for allowing the Cricket Espana boys to be an integral part of their coaching drills for the day.
Link to Jamie Roper’s diary of the day –