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Saturday, July 23, 2011
Sports

Lawson's Verdict

Talent impressive, pitches not so

Geoff Lawson's period as the specialist fast bowling coach for the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy ended yesterday with mostly encouraging words except for a warning that could greatly help the Tigers in the immediate future.

The former Australian cricketer, who arrived on July 4, mainly worked with the pace bowlers in the 24-man Academy side. He also had sessions with discarded Test bowlers and observed national team and Under-19 fast bowlers as well.

One of them, Rubel Hossain, looked slightly unfit to the one-time new-ball spearhead of the Australian team.

"He [Rubel Hossain] needs a bit more fitness work. I haven't worked with him and just observed when he bowled in the Academy," said Lawson, who also opined that the Tigers' new-ball bowler needs to do work on his action.

"I think he can do a bit of work in that as well. I watched him bowl for 30 minutes.

"That [slingshot action] is a good thing to have. He does it a little bit but looks like he needs a little more work," he added.

Lawson though was all-praise for the Academy pacemen who were picked for the programme after impressing in both domestic and age-level cricket.

"I think they are no different from young Australian fast bowlers. That surprised me for some reason. There are 4-5 guys here who've improved rapidly.

"They're basically young bowlers, just starting out. I've been highly impressed and technically they're very good," he said.

Having instilled in them the art of swinging the ball both ways, Lawson observed that most have side-on actions with the gangly Mohammad Al-Amin and Alauddin Babu impressing him the most.

"We have two left-handers who swing it, one is quicker (Kazi Kamrul Islam) than the other (Mohammad Rahee).

"Al Amin is tall, comes over the top. He's actually moving the ball both ways. [Alauddin] Babu is quite a matured cricketer in many ways. Mukhtar Ali has improved a lot but has a few things to right. [Kamrul Islam] Rabbi bowls quite fast when he gets it right," explained Lawson, who will remain associated with the Academy as he will discuss reports with head coach Ross Turner after the South Africa tour next month.

But like many big names who have come into this part of the world, Lawson too believed that unless pitches are improved, fast bowlers won't be encouraged.

"The thing that impedes the growth of fast bowling are pitches which are not good for fast bowling. The Academy pitches can do that, the bowlers see the edges carry.

"But whenever I asked them what kind of pitches they play on, they say 'low bounce'. That makes it very hard to encourage guys to bowl fast," said Lawson.

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