New coaching strategy? July 27, 2004

Ross pulled up over sexual innuendoes

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Ashley Ross, one of the technical directors of New Zealand Cricket, has been chastised for making sexual innuendoes in a presentation. Ross, who briefly coached New Zealand, is alleged to have delivered a coaching presentation titled "Phone sex, masturbation and the real deal: Cricket training as it has always been".

Ross is said to have compared phone sex with throw-downs, masturbation with net practice and the "real deal" with simulated game situations. The presentation apparently tried to bring out the the parallels between three different levels of cricket practice, and the three different levels of sexual practice. It is believed to have been delivered to at least two groups of qualified coaches over the past year.

New Zealand chief executive, Martin Snedden, condemned this approach and said that he wasn't comfortable with these methods. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying, "It's certainly not the angle we would usually take on coaching, and it's fair to say I'm not comfortable with it. That sort of thing does not fit easily with the NZC culture - it's not the way we go about things."

Snedden also cautioned against over-reaction and felt that the issue shouldn't be blown out of proportion "The bottom line," he continued, "is that Ashley was delivering a presentation to a closed group of coaches who he knew very well."

Emily Drumm, the former captain of the New Zealand women's team, said that this latest strategy stretched the boundaries of common decency and termed it as "an absolutely disgusting analogy".

Drumm, who had earlier decided to skip the tour of England and Ireland, added, "It's a ridiculous way to discuss the issue. He's obviously become bored, has tried to come up with a fresh approach, and has overshot the mark by quite some distance. The shame is that Ash is a sound technical coach and has often offered fantastic advice. He's been a great help for the top women cricketers, and is an excellent source of information."