Marsh backs England's bowling future - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Marsh backs England's bowling future

By Myles Hodgson 20/10/2004 05:46:27 AM Comments (0)

Academy Director Rod Marsh has provided an optimistic analysis of England's future by claiming they now had a battery of fast bowlers capable of becoming the envy of world cricket.

Former Australian wicketkeeper Marsh, who has been responsible for the development of England's leading players for the past three years, delivered his glowing report as he welcomed his fourth intake of students at the National Academy in Loughborough.

Marsh, working closely with England coach Duncan Fletcher and bowling coach Troy Cooley, has attempted to develop a pool of 10 fast bowlers capable of performing at the highest level if success is to be achieved consistently.

That has been underlined by the outstanding performances of Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Flintoff during the last year to help England win 10 out of the past 11 Tests, including a five-match series whitewash over the West Indies.

But Marsh also believes they have emerging players ready to step up if required and provide competition for the more established seamers to lift hopes that England could go on to dominate world cricket in the coming years.

"You need 10 fast bowlers in a battery to be a successful nation given that it is fast bowlers that win the majority of matches around the world," explained Marsh.

"They are all the right sort of age. Harmison and Simon Jones are around 25 and I think the best years of a fast bowler's life are between 25 and 35 and these guys have not played a lot of cricket, although some people would not agree with that."

Apart from regulars like Harmison, Hoggard and Flintoff, England can now also call upon relatively experienced players like Jones, Lancashire's James Anderson and Martin Saggers of Kent - all of whom have featured at various stages of the unbeaten Test win.

They are supplemented by exciting prospects like Jon Lewis of Gloucestershire, Kent's David Stiff, Liam Plunkett of Durham and Lancashire's Sajid Mahmood, who are all due to tour Dubai and Sri Lanka with the Academy after Christmas.

In an attempt to accelerate the development of the 12 full-time students under Marsh's rule this winter, they have been given 11 hours a week during their stay at the Academy Centre in Loughborough when they decide what they want to do.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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