'There is a need for more tournaments'

Successful Coach

Every day must pose a new challenge if you are the coach of the Australian blind cricket team. That is the only thought that gets coach Neil Mackey out of his bed every morning.

He speaks to Metrolife about the World Cup series for blind cricket and the kind of fitness regime his boys follow.

“The deal is that we don’t meet as a team too often. We’ve only met three times this year and the last time we trained together was back in August! After that, they go their own way and we keep in touch via mails and Facebook. So, there’s a lot of individual training, sprint work and cycling that they do. Most of them like to maintain a certain level of fitness in their life,” shares Neil.

Asked about his experience working with blind cricketers, he says that it is rewarding not because they need the help, but because they are talented professionals playing the sport.

“Mentally, they’re pretty well prepared. And they’ve come to terms and are very comfortable with their disability. They are all professional people in their own right as well. They love their cricket and play it well,” he smiles.

Watching his team win the Ashes series earlier this year in England was his most glorious moment as a coach. But he does find a few faults with the blind cricket arena. “It’s great that blind cricket is moving forward, but there is a need for more tournaments.

At present, the World Cup takes place six years apart,” points out the coach. He adds that at the same time, it is becoming more popular back home. “In Australia, we’ve got about 250 blind cricketers right now. We don’t have big numbers, but it’s still a start.”

Has he enjoyed being in Bangalore? “Absolutely! Bangalore’s a lovely place, with amazing weather and people. The grounds have been very good as well. It’s been a great time for us,” he wraps up.

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