A new programme is aiming to ensure Wales continues to produce top-class wicketkeepers.
Cricket Wales’ recently-appointed national wicketkeeping coach, Lee Herring, has completed a series of group sessions for Wales’ young keepers, and has hailed them a huge success.
“The sessions were entirely keeper-specific and covered all age groups, boys and girls,” he explained. “I’ve no doubt the sessions were a great success as some of the performances I’ve witnessed already this season have been outstanding.
“It’s extremely difficult to work with keepers independently at squad sessions due to space and time constraints so these sessions were highly valuable to all who attended.
“The wicketkeeper is the most important member of the fielding unit, and the lifeblood of the side, but is often unintentionally neglected at training sessions, so we are now working to address that problem.”
Lee is also community coach for Torfaen and Monmouthshire, head coach for Wales Girls u15s, and head coach and wicketkeeper for Newbridge CC in Division 1 of the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire League.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a number of Test Match keepers, and the drills and tips I’ve picked up from them are invaluable. By passing these tips and drills on to our young keepers at Cricket Wales, it not only improves their skills but also gives them a valuable insight into what the top keepers do day-in, day-out, and how important to a team they are.”
The Cricket Wales youth programme has produced some excellent wicketkeepers. In the recent LV County Championship match between Glamorgan and Gloucestershire in Cardiff, both keepers – Mark Wallace of Glamorgan and Lee’s son, Cameron Herring of Gloucestershire – were graduates of the Cricket Wales ranks.
Several young wicketkeepers from Wales are now involved with the England development programme, and young keepers are being monitored over the summer to ensure all the pre-season work is successfully transferred into match situations before regular sessions resume in September.
Cricket Wales is the national governing body for junior and recreational senior cricket in Wales. It works closely with Glamorgan County Cricket Club, which governs the men’s professional game. For information visit www.cricketwales.org.uk