Marsh ropes in Chappell to pep England

Published: Monday, October 8, 2001, 18:00 [IST]
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Sydney: Former Australian Test wicket-keeper Rod Marsh has roped in former captain Ian Chappell to help him in his task of reviving English cricket. Marsh and Chappell, both outspoken critics of English cricket over the last decade, will give a pep talk this week to the English Cricket Academy, which Marsh has been appointed to head. "He will talk about captaincy and about playing the short-pitched bowling and spin bowling," said Marsh, 51, who will leave his post as head coach of the Australian Cricket Academy to nurture England's next generation of cricketers. "He will also tell them how to deal with the media. He's got enormous knowledge and is a tough nut," Marsh added. Marsh said more former team-mates, such as Dennis Lillee and Terry Jenner, had also offered to help. "If we want something to be the best, we should go out and get the best people," he added. But the budding English talent can expect no pity. "Some of the players may not make it, but that is a fact of life," he added. "I'm confident things will develop. There will be teething problems but we're not talking about something substantially different from the Australian academy. "There are tried and proven methods for getting fitter and sharper. It worked for the Australians. There's no need to reinvent the wheel." The Adelaide-based academy under Marsh has been a prolific conveyor belt of talent for Australia's Test teams since its inception in 1987, with 27 Test players graduating from the institute. English cricket has wallowed in the meantime with Australia winning their seventh consecutive Ashes Series in August. Marsh, one-time world record holder as wicket-keeper with 355 dismissals in his 96 Tests from 1970-84, intends to return with his first intake of British 19-23 year- old cricketers to Adelaide for a pre-Christmas training camp. A guide to the outstanding success of the Australian Academy and its future benefits is that 10 graduates toured England with Steve Waugh's side. They are headed by the world's greatest leg spinner Shane Warne, fast bowlers Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee, batsmen Michael Slater, Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich. Other notable graduates are Greg Blewett, Brendon Julian, Michael Bevan, Andrew Symonds, Stuart Law and Stuart MacGill.

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