Lankan Diary: Day Four – Sammy has taken Russell’s place! And TCE meets a young Australian quick

Posted: September 20, 2012 by thecognitivenomad in Cricket, World T20 2012
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Chandrasekhar Jayaramakrishnan

One of the weird aspects of understanding cricket and captaincy is that by the time you’re mature enough to appreciate it, you have much less opportunity to do so. In particular, I was never a fan of Darren Sammy (who was?) – his inclusion in the West Indian squad, at all times, seemed more bemusing than watching Piyush Chawla get out of the Indian team bus today.

What seemed easier than trying to decipher the logic behind this was to merely acknowledge his role in fielding a team that has been through a lot of turbulence – I’d even read somewhere that Steve Waugh had called Darren Sammy to offer a few words of advice when he became captain. Was I too young / immature to acknowledge his role?

Gary says No!

Goutham and I had a chance to say hi to Garry Redman, a Barbadian living in the United Kingdom – we’d spotted him sitting a few rows away from where we were during the game between Ireland and Australia.

Gary was more than happy to answer a few questions that Goutham had with respect to a few critical issues from the West Indian team. To begin with, unsurprisingly, he names Chris Gayle as his pick for the Player of the Tournament award, and that he was here in Sri Lanka to “see the West Indies take this trophy home.”

When questioned on his views about Darren Sammy, he curtly replied: “He has taken Andre Russell’s place in the squad.” The sentiment could be understood, but he was also quick to acknowledge Sammy’s role in pulling the strings together, at the same time, honest enough to admit that there is a pool of fifteen that has more ability than the current skipper.

When pressed on whom he sees as future captaincy material, he said that it had to be “one of the Bravos.” Nurturing youth, he felt, was the right way forward.

On Ramnaresh Sarwan, Gary opined that for a senior player of his stature, he probably shouldn’t have spoken as much as he had. But all said and done, given what the Carribeans have been through over the last couple of years, they finally look a force (albeit in T20 formats) to be reckoned with.

An Australian kid who idolizes Stuart Broad!

I was lucky to bump in to Dr Peter Kremer, a Sports Psychologist with the University of Melbourne, who, previously, had worked with the Victoria Bushrangers and the Australian Women’s Cricket team. Dr Kremer was in Sri Lanka with his 14 year old son, Hunter, a fast bowler who’s taken up the challenge of chancing his trade in the placid wickets of the subcontinent.

We had an interesting conversation centric around psychology and how he’s found the challenge of working with immensely talented players who couldn’t cope with the pressure of delivering at the highest level possible, and instead, settled in their comfort zones at State/Grade level. And some, who were just plain unlucky – Jamie Siddons, Darren Berry, Brad Hodge, to name a few. He also seemed to have a lot of praise for George Bailey, pointing out that althiugh he might not be the best when it comes to ability, he has a very sharp cricketing brain.

The focus then shifted to his young son, a tall (178 cm – he’s only 14), polite, and polished lad who seemed to be enjoying his time in the sub-continent. “It’s the car horns and traffic that have caught me surprised,” he said. We invited him to India and experience in the traffic in cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Hunter Kremer possessed a lot of maturity for his age, understanding that the steps he needs to take to graduate to the national level will involve a lot of hard work, and patience. He’s been bestowed with the benefit of having a father whose spectrum of experience will definitely guide him along the right path.

Dr Peter Kremer and his son, the young fast bowler from Melbourne, Hunter with The CouchExperts

“I like James Pattinson, he’s quick,” he says. “And from outside Australia, I like Stuart Broad. He’s young, and he’s real quick too.” Now, when was the last time I heard an Aussie idolizing an Englishmen? Times change – England, certainly, seemed to have the better crop of fast bowlers than their Australian contemporaries.

Young fast bowlers, understandably, have ideological preconceptions on bowling quick, only quick. Hunter’s maturity stands out here when he says “I bowl round about 115-120 kph. I like to focus on getting my line and length right.” Dr Kremer can be very proud of his son, who also has plans to spend a season in England, to polish his skills during the gap year – and get accustomed to bowling with balls other than the Kookaburra, on which, he says the shine doesn’t last that long.

The CouchExpert would like to wish Dr Peter Kremer and Hunter Kremer good luck on their roads ahead.

P.S. We will upload the videos on the two interviews shortly. And India won, though, unconvincingly.

  1. […] was fortunate to meet Dr. Peter Kremer, a former Sports Psychologist with the Victoria State Cricket Association, during my stay in Sri […]

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