Star pair join Hawke's Bay cricket academy

JONATHAN MILLMOW
Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014

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Former test batsmen Mark Greatbatch and Mathew Sinclair headline an international cricket coaching academy being set up in Hawke's Bay.

The academy is the brainchild of the Hawke's Bay Cricket Association, which hopes to attract 12 English county 2nd XI players to the area this summer at a cost of £7000 (NZ$13,800) each.

There will be six spots for local talent around the school-leaving age, at a substantially reduced fee.

Hawke's Bay CA chairman Derek Stirling, a former test fast bowler, confirmed the initiative, which goes by the title International Cricket Academy of Hawke's Bay - New Zealand'.

Stirling said the motivation was more than just a money making venture. The 12 English players would be farmed out to the six local clubs which should be a shot in the arm for the senior competition.

Stirling confirmed that local academy members would have access to quality coaching during the day which was not currently available.

While this is a HBCA initiative, Central Districts have expressed their support by indicating they will cover the cost of two local players to join the academy.

Besides Greatbatch and Sinclair, the coaching roster includes another CD legend, Mike Shrimpton, who is coaching director, current CD wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk and former players Craig Findlay and Stirling.

"Mark Greatbatch will do a bit of coaching, Mathew Sinclair will do a lot," Stirling said.

"Skippy [Sinclair] will coach from 9am-3pm Monday to Friday.

"We hope the counties say, ‘hey this is fantastic' and send their players out."

The academy will be based at Nelson Park in Napier and at CD's High Performance Centre at Whitmore Park in Napier.

The brochure advertises training at top level facilities and personalised fitness, skill and conditioning programmes as well as a few other benefits.

The Hawke's Bay Rugby Union has offered its gym facilities and local sporting figures Tab Baldwin (basketball), Craig Philpott and Danny Lee (both rugby) have agreed to be course mentors.

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