If today’s rising cricket stars can heed just one piece of advice and apply it to their game, it’s to play back, former Australian Test cricketer Geoff Dymock said.
It might seem odd for a legendary fast bowler to be dishing batting advice but this tip was bestowed by one of the best in the business, in legendary South African stroke player, Barry Richards.
Dymock, who played 21 Tests and 15 one-day internationals between 1974 and 1980, was offered the advice shortly before starting his own venture in private coaching when he crossed paths with Richards, who was then head of the Queensland Cricket Union.
“(Richards) said, I’ll never forget it, as one of the greatest batsmen of all time ‘can I give you one piece of advice, if you’re coaching and a batsman can’t play back, then they can’t play’,” Dymock said.
“That’s a tremendous bit of information from Barry, the only bit of information he gave me.
“It doesn’t matter how good you are or at what level you play, the basics are still the most important thing.”
Dymock was in Gunnedah last week as host to one of his junior cricket training clinics which are held around the country.
The Gunnedah camp fielded good numbers, equally matched by encouraging participation at Glen Innes and Quirindi in previous days. However he could summon just one lonely junior cricketer to their training camp at Tamworth.
From those who did take part, Dymock encountered not only a good dose of local talent but many students were often quick to learn the new skills, even from scratch.
“Today we’ve also got a few kids who have never played cricket, or only backyard stuff, so this is a great start,” he said.
“We’ll give them a few exercises so they can go home and practice to get the basics right.
“And there’s a few young fellas who show a lot of talent.”
Another teaching point, this time to do with throwing from the field, Dymock didn’t learn until after his cricket playing days.
“One thing I wasn’t taught and which I didn’t know when I was playing first class cricket, I got from Kevin Cantwell who played 15 years of Sydney grade cricket but also captained and coached Australia in baseball.
“He always said if you throw a ball, you throw with your elbow above your shoulder.
“And there are Test players that still do the wrong thing now and I’m sure they’ve been taught.”
Dymock also hoped for a long and prosperous season for the Australian cricket side because when they do well, the grassroots game thrives, he said.
“Hopefully they go alright, it’s a bit hit and miss to some extent.
“The most important thing in this country, when Australia plays well, kids get involved in playing.”