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Andy Flower likes to tap into the knowledge of other sports, and their coaches, as he decides on the best way to go about his job. That job has now become very tough in the wake of the Ashes whitewash and there are suggestions he will walk if he doesn't get his way over Kevin Pietersen. Sir Clive Woodward, who guided England to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, writing in the Daily Mail, provides an view from outside the cricket world about how the ECB need to go about rebuilding.
No matter the sport, the head coach must be the only man who is unequivocally in charge, yet even Flower's job title of 'team director' muddies everything. In our national set-ups both in cricket and rugby, too many key decisions are being made by committee. That in turn leads to popularity contests and allows compromise to come into play. When things go wrong reports are commissioned -- the 2006-07 Ashes whitewash sparked the Schofield report -- but nobody fronts up to take the blame.
Japan's Shizuka Miyaji is currently training with the New South Wales Women's team, sharpening her chinaman skills under the watchful eye of captain Alex Blackwell. Her six-month stint in Sydney is a considerable step up, after some of the other means Miyaji had to use to learn the game, writes Carly Adno in Australia's Telegraph.
"These kids learn how to play cricket from watching on Youtube. They'll be watching Shane Warne bowl his leg breaks and then you see them go out and try to do the same," Blackwell said. Miyaji is training with NSW and playing first-grade cricket with Universities and Blackwell is confident she will make enormous strides during her time in Australia. "So that's really how the kids in Japan become familiar with cricket because it isn't on live TV anywhere."
The death of Desh Prem Azad, who coached many cricketers including Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma, Ashok Malik and Yograj Singh, last week saddened followers of the game in India. In a personal tribute to Azad, Pradeep Magazine, writing for the Hindustan Times, remembers the coach, who was a strict disciplinarian and an inspiring cricketer to his young wards.
Chandigarh's Sector 16 coaching centre, where Azad honed the skills of young, impressionable boys, was the centre of his life, an abode where his writ ran. He was, in the tradition of Indian gurus, a man whose word was law and no one dared defy his instructions.
For Shane Warne, Darren Lehmann's appointment as coach before the Ashes is a sign of momentum shifting slightly in Australia's favour. As contemporaries, Warne observed Lehmann's skills as a player and a coach closely and he draws on these experiences to identify Lehmann's unique coaching style in his column for the Telegraph.
Boof is not really a coach. Yes, sure he can tell you about technique but he will be speaking to players about how they approach the game and prepare. He is a mentor. He has been there, done it and endured all the ups and downs over a lifetime in cricket. He has a great rapport with players, a good understanding of how to balance the old school and new.
Chloe Saltau of the Age believes Darren Lehmann's appointment as Australia's coach heralds a fascinating contest between his old-school philosophies and Cricket Australia's emphasis on a scientific approach to the game.
How will his traditional way of doing things collide with CA's modern matrix for running the team? What will happen when Lehmann needs a big effort from Ryan Harris, but the sports science says the injury-prone paceman is in the red zone? Can the old and new school work together, or will something have to give?