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Head Coach of the Dhaka Gladiators and former National Bowling Coach, Ian Pont shares his views on the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League. Today Ian talks about Player Power.

Views from the Edge: Player Power

Published: 20th February, 2012

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Full attention to training.

Full attention to training. Support staff watch intently as the players train hard .

The T20 competition is fast and furious, that's for sure. The coaches of all teams hope the players they bring in do actually perform to their full potential. I cannot speak for other franchises here but from my viewpoint, the coaching staff we have at DG is experienced, knowledgeable and also motivated to assist the squad be ready for each match.

The coaches role is purely to prepare the players they have, as best they can. It is up to us to ensure we provide the best back up facilities and support available so the players have no distractions when they go out and play.

However, once they cross that boundary rope, none of us can do anything. We become spectators and all the work in the build up to each match means nothing when the first ball is bowled.

In T20, there is even less actual coaching that can be done, more making sure they are ticking over properly. It is more player management, plus an understanding of which players need to be rested. Some of the team has played a huge amount of cricket up to the BPL and this month long extravaganza of cricket (we started our training camp on Feb 3rd) does take it's toll on players' bodies and minds. We are 17 days in now (from our first training date) and this is just our third day away from cricket. There's an important blend of rest, regardless of the results, and training. And we have some tremendously experienced international performers who understand their bodies and own game far better than any coach or physio. We have had our fair share of injuries too that we are trying to keep in house and maintained. We cannot and do not want to use these as excuses, which is why we don't talk about them.

When you look at the BPL you can see what a massive difference one man or one innings can make. Chris Gayle for example. Yet despite his second 100 we were still able to beat Barisal Burners. Chanderpaul's wonderful innings against us here in Chittagong for KRB. He chose that match to play that innings - and we couldn't stop him. Sometimes one innings, one incident or one moment of brilliance, can turn a game on its head.

We have a strong squad on paper. Some of the team are performing, some are not. Unexpected performances are happening within each team. Some players haven't got going. Others have shone unexpectedly. This is the nature of T20 cricket. It isn't about coaching, nets, practice, having the most expensive players, the best kit or even the most knowledgeable staff. It is all about how the team that takes the field, performs when they cross that boundary rope.

We have team plans, goals and strategies. It relies upon the players executing those plans but there is little time to get it right. We have no luxury with experimenting. The bottom line? Players delivering on their skills and what they are good at.

We must finally remember this is an International T20 tournament with half of each side being foreign. Each team we play wants to win as much as we do. They have their own plans, goals and strategies, too. They are loaded with talent as well. Some days they get it right and some days they don't. It's why the matches are unpredictable.

Two straight losses, two kicks up the backside. Adversity brings a bonding together. It's down to the guys to stand up and be Gladiators. I can assure you they are ready. They just need to deliver the goods.

 

About the author(s): Ian Pont needs no introductions to Bangladesh Cricket fans. He joined the national team as National Bowling Coach during the 2011 World Cup. He also joined BanglaCricket as a member and has been exchanging views for a while with our members. He is founder of the Mavericks Cricket Institute and is also an author of "The Fast Bowler's Bible". In 2012 he returned to Bangladesh as the head-coach of the BPL team, the Dhaka Gladiators.

 

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