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DreamCricket Academy Media Release, Hillsborough, NJ
The Tigers are on a high with back-to-back series wins against New
Zealand (4-0) and Zimbabwe (3-1). Even before the arrival in September
of the two specialist coaches, Julien Fountain for fielding and Ian
Pont for bowling, the Tigers were always competitive. But their fans
have witnessed a new sense of purpose and self-belief since September.
Going into the third match against Zimbabwe, the spinners,
especially Abdur Razzak, were doing their job extremely well but the
pace bowlers were a little out of sorts. The bowling coach Ian Pont
hoped on December 5th that the pace bowlers too would return to form.
"Well, sometimes bowlers lose their rhythm, they lose their
timing," Pont told The Daily Star. "In the nets, everything looks
good; but in matches, it's not so."
"Mashrafe is coming back from an injury. But he will come back
strong, he's been a great bowler for Bangladesh, and he has a lot of
talent, he's very clever, and he's one of our better fast bowlers,"
Pont predicted. As if on cue, Mashrafe produced a 2-for-25 spell (8
overs, 2 maidens) in the last match of the series. Shafiul Islam too
was on target conceding a miserly 10 runs in his 7 overs even though he
Shafiul, who took 4 for 43, in the third
match was full of praise for Coach Pont: "I am working on my bowling
speed and trying control in speed and swing, as per directions from the
coach. My highest bowling speed was 143 km per hour as far as I know."
Ian Pont, DreamCricket Academy's International Coach, is a firm
believer that for a country to succeed, it must focus on what is
important, not what is urgent. In January 2010, he wrote his column
'Five ways to make cricket attractive to Americans.' For USA to realize its potential in cricket, he wrote that it must 'develop players correctly.'
a development plan, stick to it and see it through. The only way any
country can make a sport attractive is to develop those who already
play first, so the national teams that represent that country actually
Meanwhile, fresh accolades came for Ian Pont from a wholly
unexpected source. Pont was named in the World’s Best Fielding XI by
former England captain Nasser Hussain last week. Hussain, now a
commentator on SKY SPORTS, chose a team of the world’s best fielders by
position in what he described as “My Perfect XI”. And Pont was in as
‘Boundary Rider’ alongside some of the most illustrious fielders in the
history of the game.
49 year-old Pont was chosen for the cover boundary, alongside James
Anderson on the mid-wicket fence, Jack Russell (wicket-keeper), Ricky
Ponting (first slip), Mark Waugh (second slip), Jacques Kallis (third
slip), Jonty Rhodes (backward point), AB de Villiers (Cover),
Herschelle Gibbs (mid-wicket), Paul Collingwood (square leg) and David
Boon (short leg).
Hussain added, “Throwing from the boundary is all about trajectory. The
more powerful the arm, the flatter the throw and the quicker the ball
comes in. Of all the players I ever played with Pont simply had the
best arm. His throw was so powerful he went to try for a professional
baseball contract in the US.”
Pont was humbled by the accolade. “It is really something to be
recognised by a Test legend within a team of international greats. I
was reading the list and saw my own name in it. I was the only person I
had never heard of”, he joked. “Seriously, it is a humbling thing to
have that honour bestowed on me. I wasn’t a quick runner but once I had
the ball in my hand I was able to get it in faster than anyone else
with accuracy. Even today my arm is still good. I’d fancy my chances of
out throwing most current fielders. I’m not sure though that I would
feel great the next day. ”