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Be the best-skilled team the world has ever seen

Part 2.
(part 3 next – What aren’t the Big Three! )



World Cup 2007 plan

The World Cup 2007 plan formed the basis of the way we were thinking as a playing and off-field support group for a couple of years leading into the 2007 World Cup tournament. If nothing else, to have many people thinking about being the best-skilled team the world has ever seen was a mindset that greatly assisted our performance once we arrived in the Windies.

The Plan says we must…

Do what?

Set new standards…be the most…improve personal bests…develop the ability to…improve speed…have a range …have flexibility…be very knowledgeable about…

Execute those plans consistently under pressure.

Top Level Plan

1. We must have the highest standards of defensive plans and skills (i.e. set new standards in terms of bowling and fielding strategies combined with the ability to execute those plans consistently under pressure).
2. We must be the most athletic team (i.e. minimise any athletic disadvantage we currently have within the squad and/or maximise the athletic advantage we have over teams).
3. We must bat with an approach that allows full expression of the team’s skills (i.e. develop batsmen who are good decision makers and physically execute their skills at various times during the game under pressure).
4. We must set new standards in levels of professionalism on and off the field.

Defensive Plans And Skills – Bowling

  • To be able to bowl on average 55% dot balls per match. To do this, bowlers need to be able to deliver the three lengths consistently and under pressure (range of yorkers, top of off, bouncer).
  • All bowlers need to have knowledge of individual batsmen and skills to bowl wicket taking and dot balls to each.
  • Bowlers to have the skills to bowl during the Power Play periods and during the last ten to fifteen overs.
  • All quick and medium quick bowlers must be able to deliver the following on demand: range of yorkers, bouncers, normal and reverse swing, range of slower balls and use of angles at crease.
  • Spinners to be able to deliver on demand the following: various degrees of turn, range of pace and trajectory changes and use of angles at crease. All spinners must also be able to deliver yorker length deliveries at will.
  • The team must develop a signal system between bowler, keeper, captain and all fieldsmen for particular plays.
  • Bowlers must position themselves in their follow through wherever possible to force batsmen to run around them.

Defensive Plans And Skills – Fielding

  • Fielding is the second part to the defensive plan but will play a key role.
  • Our overall target is to maintain our opportunities taken at the following standards:
  • 100% Grade 1 chances – regulation catches.
  • 80% of Grade 2 Chances – increased degree of
    difficulty, but expect to take.
  • 50% of Grade 3 chances – difficult chances, dives, one –
  • A movement rating will also be developed to measure runs saved, extra efforts, dive stops and assists.
  • Fielders are encouraged to throw at the stumps at all times to support play, must be active at all times to prevent over throws.

To Be The Most Athletic Team

  • All players must improve personal bests in speed, agility and power tests.
  • Players will specialise in inner and outer ring fielding positions, but have the physical and technical skills to field in most positions.
  • Players will improve speed between wickets and improve their turning skills and physical abilities.
  • Players need to be able to use non-preferred side for underarm throwing.

Offensive Plans – Batting

  • The overall target of our batting team is a minimum of 60% scoring shots.
  • Batsmen will have the ability to score on both sides of the wicket off the front and back foot against both slow and quick bowlers in variable match and wicket conditions.
  • Batsmen to have a range of shots including ranges of power, skill to take pace off the ball to skill and power to hit the ball over the boundary.
  • Batsmen to develop the ability to use the crease and manipulate the field to suit the team’s and the individual’s needs.
  • Basic running between wicket techniques to be fine tuned (backing up, straight line running, turning, staying in close to stumps for spinners as well as running on best surface).
  • Batsmen to have flexibility to bat anywhere in order, and consequently with different partners at different times in the match.
  • Batsmen will be very knowledgeable about opposition bowlers and team tactics.

Best Organised Team

  • All preparations to be completed before leaving for WC 2007 (e.g. playing manual, opposition profiles, equipment, supplies and media, etc.).
  • All contingencies to be understood with plans in place to manage.
  • Training – skills, physical, recovery to be best practice.
  • Downtime team activities to be planned and both organised and flexible.

New Action Items That Arise From The Plan

  • Signal system: this option to be further developed with team leadership group. Also the option of developing Phases of Play that all players are aware of (almost set plays that cover periods of time, rather than just one ball?).
  • Organised – alternative training formats to be investigated and trialed prior to World Cup. This may include training without use of nets, for example.

We did not achieve all our aims and goals – but we were always driving towards them.



  1. Accept planning as an integral process to successful performance.
  2. Planning is simply a reference framework that allows great flexibility in methodology.
  3. Any plan must have shared ownership by all parties that will be affected by it.

Coming next, part 3
What aren’t the Big Three!