German opening batsman André Leslie’s report on the national team’s training camp in Husum.
I was lucky enough to be one of the 18 players selected for a German national team training camp in northern Germany these last few days. Despite the fact that the body is still aching a little, this five day camp was without doubt one of the most positive experiences I have had with the national team in my two and a half years with the squad.
Early on the first day we met up with our two ICC Europe Coaches, Phil Hudson, ICC Regional Performance Officer and Chris Brown, who had flown in from the UK. Both coaches are ECB L4 qualified and it is only the second time that two coaches qualified to this level have visited an ICC European member on an elite coach visit as a team. In combination with German national team coach Keith Thompson, they were to be our taskmasters for the next three days. The bleep test arranged by Keith on the first day set the tone – this promised to be focused training at a high intensity. As one of the more senior players, I was happy to come in second in our squad’s beep test. Congratulations to the team’s fitness freak, Asad, for holding out the longest though!
With the final two days set aside for friendly matches against neighbouring Denmark, the first part of the camp was based on working on technical skills in the nets and out in the middle for match scenario work. With Phil and Chris we had plenty of time to go through specific aspects of our bowling, as well as work on any batting weaknesses against the bowling machine. We also tried out some fun new fielding drills which I know the boys will be keen to try out again in the future. Most importantly, the three days gave us the chance to put new skills into action with a couple of internal Twenty20 matches – this kept things fun and competitive.
Unfortunately, our first friendly match against Denmark on Sunday didn’t go as planned. Batting first, we reached only 157, which the Danish batsman passed for the loss of just three wickets. It was a disappointing effort from us, especially considering the amount of time we had invested in trying to improve our cricket on the previous days.
But, after a solid telling off from coach Thompson and a delicious barbecue put on by Husum Cricket Club, we were ready to make amends in the second match. And we did so in style, winning on the second day against a similar Danish side by 90 runs. Especially enjoyable was watching the determined innings of 47 from teenage debutant Rohit Singh – a homegrown talent who attended the ICC Europe Centre of Excellence in April and is hopefully set for big things!
First of all, thanks must go to ICC Europe for giving us this wonderful opportunity to work with two experienced coaches for such a long period of time. We also very much appreciate the efforts of the hosts, Husum Cricket Club, fronted by their hardworking and ever-friendly groundsman, Jørg Krüger. Finally, Ben Das, Indrajith Fernando and Keith Thompson from the German Cricket Association (DCB) should also be congratulated for successfully organising this inaugural camp. Hopefully, it is the first of many.