Youngsters flock to cricket coaching session at city school

Coach Tony Pullinger gives Ben Tubb, 14, advice on how to bat as others await their turn
Coach Tony Pullinger gives Ben Tubb, 14, advice on how to bat as others await their turn

There is nothing better than getting prepared for the new season well in advance.

The first cricket matches may have been four or five months away, but that didn’t stop these young players learning new skills.

Youngsters, all smartly dressed in their cricketing gear, flocked in from all over Oxfordshire in January 1987 to attend their first cricket coaching course of the video age.

READ AGAIN: Widower's emotional words to traffic campaigners

So many boys took part in the course at Oxford School in Glanville Road, East Oxford, that an overflow hall had to be used to accommodate them all.

The two-day course, subsidised by the Lord’s Taverners, attracted 63 boys who received instruction from national coach Tony Pullinger. He was assisted by colleagues Terry Parsons and Mike Gauntlett.

The Oxfordshire County Cricket Association had recently bought video equipment and this was the first time it had been used.

The young cricketers were filmed at the wicket, batting, bowling or fielding, then watched themselves on a TV screen and saw exactly what they were doing wrong. The coaches would then advise them how to improve their skills.

READ AGAIN: Cafe in St Clements is being turned into a barber shop

Dick Procktor, headmaster of Oxford School and a cricket enthusiast, was encouraged by the healthy response to the course.

He told the Oxford Mail: “At a time when it is said there is not a lot of interest in cricket, it was very pleasing to have so many young enthusiasts on the course.”

The Lord’s Taverners have done much work over the years encouraging youngsters to take up sport, particularly those who are disabled, at risk or from deprived areas.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing:

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF