Junior Cricket Activities at Home
After an extremely successful Winter Season, all you’d want to do at this point of the year is play outside at the Field of Dreams! Indeed, training would have been starting next Sunday if we hadn’t been amidst this crisis.
Sadly, it doesn’t look like we’ll be training together for at least a few months, but as many of you know, key attributes of successful Cricketers are patience and hard work.
So, from myself and the rest of the coaching team (who send their best wishes to you all), here are some activities to keep you going throughout this isolation period.
Look out for more initiatives over the coming weeks to keep everyone thinking about their Cricket!
If you have any questions or want to ask us anything, we’re more than happy to chat!
Johan de Silva
Director of Junior Cricket
Cricket Activity suggestions:
Lots of online games are available if you have a quick google, but I’d look at the Section 2 below for more active games – they’re what we’d recommend….
1 Online Cricket Games:
Check out http://www.cricketgames.me
Stick Cricket is a timeless classic – see if you can get your timing right to hit those 4s & 6s.
2 House-Friendly Cricket Games:
French Cricket – great for batting and catching! Rules below:
§ One batsman stands with siblings or parents around them in a circle.
§ Bat shields batsman below the knees; players take it in turns to get the batsman out, either by hitting them below the knee, or catching a ball that they’ve hit.
§ Person who takes a wicket gets to bat next (if the same two people bat, please rotate it – otherwise you’ll find people quickly give up!)
Through the Gate – great for batting, underarm throwing and fielding! Rules below:
§ Batsman stands with legs apart, holding the bat in the middle.
§ Pitcher / fielder’s aim is to roll the ball between the batsman’s legs, giving the batsman a good way to practice bat control.
§ If ball goes through batsman’s legs, the fielder becomes the batsman. Ideal for 2 players, so maybe one to let the kids have a go at themselves if you have a few!
Hanging Cricket Ball – great for batting and catching on occasions – NOT suitable for every household, best for ones that have gardens…Rules below:
§ This reduces the need to use a hand to throw yourself a ball for drills.
§ Using a hanging ball allows you to focus on your grip, stance, back swing & technique. Ensure the hanging ball is tightly secured. 10th April 2020
§ Tie a ball onto a piece of string and suspend it from a height (I’d recommend a tennis / wind ball rather than a cricket ball). Ball can be left at different heights to practice different shots.
§ You can buy these training aids online if you don’t fancy DIY!
§ Bat taps on your bat (keepy-uppies) is a core drill you can do at home. It’s straight forward but has lots of benefits – including making sure that you watch the ball!
§ If it’s easy off the face of the bat, try the back of your bat, the handle of your bat, or the edge – much harder. Set yourself a target and try to beat it each day!
Wall Reflex – Back Foot Shots (advanced):
§ Required – a tennis ball, and a flat wall (one that belongs to your household, preferably!).
§ Throw the ball against the wall, and have it come back towards you without it bouncing on the ground. Play a back-foot shot to the ball as it returns back to you – I would start with the defensive shot before you move onto pulls / cuts.
§ This is harder to achieve – I would recommend the hanging ball to practice your shots. o Cricket Stump & Tennis Ball:
§ Great for hand-eye co-ordination – if using the bat is too easy, make yourself use a smaller bat, e.g. a stump. If you can hit balls with a stump cleanly, you’ll be on course for lots of runs when we get outside in the Summer!
§ You don’t need much space for this one, either – a bonus!
§ You can either hit the ball after the ball has bounced, or hit the ball on the full once it comes back to you off the wall.
§ If you are a beginner, focus on making contact with the ball. If you are more advanced, look to develop your repertoire of shots – could you learn a new shot during isolation – for instance, the reverse sweep (only if you’ve mastered the conventional sweep, first…
Target Practice with a Tennis Ball:
§ Improves shot accuracy and footwork – you need a target, buckets are good as are cones.
§ Lob the ball up in the air, in the same place each time, then place both hands on the bat and aim your shot at the target.
§ This can extend to throwing drills in your garden – can you pick the ball up with one hand, set a base and hit a smaller and smaller target? Great for practising those run outs we always talk about!
Garden Cricket: An informal version of the game played in the garden and involving everyone – including your pets. Here are the basics, based on the standard rules of Cricket:
§ Equipment – bat, ball (tennis is best) and two sets of stumps
§ If you’ve not got stumps, use a T-shirt, hat or shoe to mark wickets out.
§ There can be a wicket-keeper if you’d like or you can use a chair to act as the wicket-keeper.
§ There are no restrictions on the number of players! Sometimes you might have everyone else fielding, or you may have batting / fielding teams working for a set number of overs. Make sure you have time for lunch, drinks & snack breaks.
§ If you are playing a big game, the person to get the batter out becomes the batter – again share this around!
§ Wides & no-balls don’t exist and the LBW rule is optional as there tends not to be an umpire.
§ Batsmen can be out through any of the usual ways – caught, run out, bowled, etc.
§ Batsmen hitting the ball into the neighbour’s garden are given 6 runs but are out to compound their misery; they have to fetch the ball if they can, but this is clearly hard at the moment so make sure that you have some spares…
§ A one-handed catch draws the entire team innings to a close, if one is executed.
§ When batsmen hit the ball, they have to be run. Batsmen can keep running if the ball is lost in hedges, flowerbeds etc. You could score more than 36 runs in an over if you get it right!
§ Batters must shout their overall score at the end of each run so that everyone knows what it is, even if some of the fielders don’t care!
§ The rules are a guide – they are made to be broken, improvised or extended, so be creative!
§ Have some awards at the end of the game:
· Best ball · Best shot · Most commentary · Best fielding
Have a look at Instagram for some great backyard cricket set-ups; I’ve seen a few fantastic ones. If you think yours is particularly good, send us a photo to [email protected] and we can post on the website and put up on our Instagram
Take care and have fun!