Rodney Marsh predicts good future for England
Published: Saturday, November 15, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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London: Former Australian Test star Rodney Marsh presided over the opening of the new England cricket academy on Friday and predicted that the English could become the world's leading cricket nation within five years. "I don't see any reason why that can't happen, no reason at all," said Marsh the former Aussie wicketkeeper who is now director of the academy that is based at Loughborough University in the English Midlands. The Queen opened the new 4.5-million-pound complex that by 2007 is expected to be producing 95 percent of England's international cricketers.It has six nets with individual tracks to assist the development of spin, fast and medium-pace bowlers while bowling machines are able to dispatch deliveries at 100 mph. "I think Australia will find the next 10 years much more difficult than they found the last 10, simply because they will be losing players like Shane Warne. "Shane is probably the best bowler the world's ever seen and players like that aren't easy to replace. But in England we now have the best facilities in the world and, as a player, there's no better place to be. "We have the best facilities in the world here, appreciably in front of anywhere else, and it's a great place for the players to come in and work on their game on a daily basis. "If I can get even one player from each academy year into the Test side then I count that as success because in 10 years' time at that rate you've got the backbone of the team."