There was a new face at the National Cricket Academy at Mirpur yesterday alongside the dozen cricketers who were attending the first day of their national camp for the tour of Sri Lanka. Cutting and edging the red ball towards a long line of fielders at the NCA, Corey Richards—the new fielding coach of the national team—was having his first look at the group of players he was most likely to spend the next two years training.
One of the men behind the Sydney Sixers' triumph at the Champions League last year, Richards was an assistant at the franchise when they qualified for the tournament but was promoted to the head coach's position soon after. He also worked as a batting coach for the New South Wales Blues.
The 37-year old who reached the country on Tuesday was hopeful of making a positive impact in the international stage as well. “I know the Australian contingent here in the coaching staff very well. So, I know the players' background and what their strengths are and what their areas of development are.” said Corey at the NCA yesterday.
“I am looking forward to the training in the coming week. And then when we get to Sri Lanka, we need to work hard. First we will focus on Test match fielding and then progress from there,” he added.
Assigned as a specialist fielding coach, Corey however will be responsible for the team's batting until the BCB hires a batting coach. “Batting is what I did prior and what my initial introduction to coaching was for. I haven't in particular had a technical role such as the fielding coach before but when you're an assistant coach, or when you're head coach of a team, you need to know all three fundamentals of the game,” explained Corey.
“Technically I have not had that title yet but I have done a lot of work, particularly with the New South Wales team and the Sydney Sixers. I think I have got the requirement and the experience to hopefully do a good job with the side,” he added.
Corey believed that the key to improve a side's fielding ability was to make the training sessions 'enjoyable'. “The time when fielders may get bored or lazy with fielding is when there's no intensity or you don't mix it up. I am looking forward to working with the players, sitting down with them and telling them what my expectations are on the field,” he said.
The Australian who is in Bangladesh for the first time hopes to make steady progress in the coming months. “I have been to India three or four times, Pakistan before, the first time here, so I am really looking forward to visiting new places and introduction to your culture. With the help of Shane [Jurgensen] and couple of other guys here I will not face any hindrance,” said Corey.