The MCC, guardians of the laws of cricket, is the oldest and largest club in the world with over 27,500 members. As well as being steeped in history their outlook is innovative and pioneering, evidenced through their international MCC Young Cricketers Programme based in the UK. Designed as a ‘Finishing School’ for those still honing their skills it takes 19-24 year olds from a range of countries and intensively develops their game, enabling them to compete at professional and international level.
Steve ‘Kirbs’ Kirby
is in his second year as head coach after a playing career spanning 20 years, including contracts with Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Having himself dealt with a near career-finishing injury as a 19 year old he has a real affinity with the youth that he now trains and develops.
Q: What did you want to achieve by using CricHQ and My Action Replay?
We really challenge our players so that they can reach their full potential. Setting high standards means you need to give them the right support to get them there. ‘High Challenge needs High Support’ is my mantra and the indexed video by scoring on CricHQ gives us exactly that, which is why we chose it this season.
Last season we filmed certain sections of matches and training but that didn’t capture enough and didn’t give it context. This is where CricHQ and MAR make an amazing tool for us.
I think it’s fantastic, and the players think it’s fantastic – it gives them tools that make a difference to them individually and then as a team. It’s a truly exciting development in cricket."
Q: What MAR system are you using?
We use the mobile unit and fix the cameras on the sight screen in advance of the match. It’s pretty straightforward. If I can set it up anyone can!
Q: How do you view the replays?
The players watch the livestream during the match as we have it running at the side of the pitch, and they also view their own replays via the app, so that gives us instant competitive advantage.
We view footage of the opposition as part of our match prep too, so the squad can, for example, view that left hand spinner in action if they’ve not come up against them before.
We send regular Performance Updates every 9 days to counties and coaches, made up from each individual’s indexed replays which means multiple eyes are watching the players multiple times and, really importantly, they’re seeing them in context. So it’s not just me saying ‘look at this century, these wickets etc’ it’s the Head Coach or Director of Cricket being able to see how the player stands up to be counted in tough times – be it to a left-arm fast at end of 2 long days, or adapting their strategy to take out a batsman knocking out the boundaries. This gives them a proper assessment of character, not just their skill level.
Q: What results have you seen from using the My Action Replay hub within CricHQ?
Well we’ve had three players contracted this season already and that was because we were able to send the replays to prospective counties and they could view the livestreams.
Another example of what’s happened recently is that Lancashire CCC paid for one of our players to go through our programme knowing that they can see each of his matches, watching him progress and assessing all the time. Glen Chapple can be watching the cricket at Trent Bridge whilst keeping an eye on their potential players via the app. It’s a massive tool for them too.
The viewing figures are really exciting as well.
We had over 3,000 people view our livestream from our game against Notts 2nd XI at High Wycombe and had amazing feedback. High Wycombe loved the system, so much so I hear they bought one for themselves!