THE Diamonds in the Bush cricket program visited Bundalaguah last week.
Leading cricketers, including former international player Cameron White and state team member Sophie Molineux, helped conduct clinics with young cricketers at the indoor facility, one of several sessions across the state.
State high performance coaches were also present, for two days of drills and question and answer sessions for boys and girls.
Cricket Victoria pathways program co-ordinator Neil Gray said it was promising to see so much enthusiasm during the winter off-season.
“We’ve been really lucky to get the physical performance guys out on tour with us this year,” he said.
“It was a bit eye-opening for some of them — when they think about what professional cricketers have to do to stay on the park and stay fit, hopefully we’ve given them some things they can go home and do.”
Gray added practise would be key for all the young players.
“You can never hit too many balls (in the winter),” he said.
“Everyone has to bat, so you can never have too much practise.
“For the bowlers, it’s about maintaining a level of fitness, we talk about building the body to bowl and you can do a lot of strength work without weights - you can never do too many sit-ups as well.”
Molineux, who was this year named the inaugural winner of Australia’s young female cricketer of the year award, said it was good to be back in Gippsland, and helped to take a squad of girls through their paces.
“Gippsland’s always produced handy cricketers — growing up in Bairnsdale ... it was strong when I was home and I’m sure it’s only getting stronger,” she said.
“I remember when I was eight years old, there wasn’t anything like the Big Bash or anything to look up to, and now it’s great that you can see these girls coming to days like this and get in the nets, and see where they can head to.
“They could become professional cricketers, playing on TV, against cricketers like Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, it’s really exciting.”
Gray agreed Gippsland was an exceptional cricketing region, and Cricket Victoria clinics like the Diamonds in the Bush sessions would help out when it came to the state championships.
“As a region, Gippsland’s in a really strong place to be able to continue to grow, and hopefully we see some success for them out on the park,” he said.
“It’s fantastic for a region such as Gippsland that we’re able to get Sophie and Cam to come back and do these sessions, we’re really proud of them as two players who’ve come through the state championships program.”