Gloucestershire’s Tom Smith (pictured) helped the County’s under 14 team return to winning ways after offering some words of wisdom on how to create more energy in the field.
Having lost by 39 runs against Hampshire in their previous game, a video message from the offspinner was played to the side before they took the field in their latest ECB Royal London Cup match against Cornwall.
And his advice seemed to do the trick as the Under 14s bowled their opponents out for 159 and knocked them off for the loss of four wickets.
Glos U14 coach Luke Sellers said: “The side were very flat in the field in their previous match against Hampshire and really struggled to get any intensity going. They ended up chasing 278 and in our post-match discussions the boys identified that one of the areas they needed some help with was creating and maintain their ‘buzz’ in the field.
“I asked Tom – as our age group ambassador – to share his experience with the boys and they responded really well.”
Tom Smith is one of two ambassadors for the Under 14s together with Benny Howell.
Every one of Gloucestershire’s 11 junior age groups –plus the senior women – have been allocated one or two professionals for 2014. This is the first year of the scheme and the idea is that they help mentor the next generation of players through things like video messages and letters praising successful performance.
Smith suggested that the under 14s try adopting some of the methods used by the Gloucestershire 1st XI including taking it in turns to lead the on-field encouragement and moving quickly between fielding positions at the end of each over.
Luke said: “The ideas Tom came up were straightforward and easy for the boys to try and implement. Although they weren’t hugely different from the things the players came up with themselves, the power of hearing them from a professional player was huge.
“The noise and energy on the field against Cornwall was the best it has been all season and although the players should take the credit for that, we are very grateful to Tom for his input.”
A destructive 73 from just 57 balls by opener Jack Morris (Poulton) (pictured) helped the Under 14s secure victory over Cornwall. The tall right hander inning’s ensured that Glos chased down the 160 they needed for victory with 11.3 overs remaining.
Chad Trainor (23*) (Frocester) and Ed Wilson (22) (Long Ashton) also played their part with the bat during the comprehensive six wicket win.
Earlier in the day Cornwall recovered form 68-6 to post a competitive total of 159. Seamers Ethan Organ (3-49) (Long Ashton), Ed Wilson (2-26) and George Stone (2-34) (Hanham)were all in the wickets but it was skipper Ben Parker who impressed most with the ball. Bowling his nine overs straight through the Winterbourne offspinner returned the miserly figures of 2-8 including three maidens.