South Korea and Japan
The Victorian Cricket Association's (VCA) Coaching Coordinator, Chris Harris recently visited both South Korea and Japan in a trip designed to further develop cricket in both countries. The visit was part of the ICC/VCA Agreement, which sees the VCA assist in the development of the game of cricket in Japan and South Korea.
Acting as an ICC Development Officer, Chris worked with both of the countries National squads that will be playing in the ICC Super 8's tournament to be staged in Perth later in February 2002. Time was spent mainly on skill development and creating team cohesion that will be a key aspect in the fortunes of both sides in the East Asia Pacific region's Developing Nations tournament.
"South Korea has had a limited exposure to the sport, but they have a university, Sungkyunkwan, (SKK) that is assisting in developing the sport in the country. The squad members are extremely keen to learn about cricket and are developing fast. Japan is further advanced with a number of their squad having played the game for 6 years or more and some have made a number of tours to cricket playing parts of the world", Harris said.
Time was also spent in elementary schools while in Japan teaching Kanga cricket to the school children.
"These children already have some of the foundation skills of cricket due to their baseball background. They compare very well with Australian children of similar age in their ability to strike the ball and throw. The main weakness seen was in their bowling which was their first exposure to this skill", Harris said recently.
Harris added "The opportunity to coach cricket in a foreign country via an interpreter was a terrific challenge, as well as a fantastic learning experience for me".
"The VCA is extremely excited to be involved in such an important program and are committed to assisting and accelerating the development of cricket in the East Asia-Pacific Region".
The VCA will be sending a member of the Coaching & Development staff across to Perth to assist with preparations before and during the tournament. Also it is planned to bring two Japanese cricket administrators to Melbourne to view Coaching and Development activities over a weeklong period to further improve the infrastructure of Japanese cricket.