Fielding guru leaves his mark

Fielding guru Mike Young says he is leaving the BLACKCAPS in healthy form for their forthcoming Test campaign.

The former Australian Olympic baseball coach links up with English county Hampshire confident the Kiwis are in good shape on the outfield.

The American completes his tenure with the BLACKCAPS this week, after the First Test against the West Indies.

And he leaves knowing fielding in cricket is one of world sport’s toughest disciplines and that its proponents are on top of their game.

Having spent several years with Cricket Australia and England before linking up with the BLACKCAPS, Young feels there are shared skills between baseball and cricket.

Not only are the talents transferable, but they are virtually indistinguishable.

He said: “There’s a tremendous synergy between the two sports, especially in fielding. There are no differences, it’s more about subtleties.

“It’s an easy transition and all we are looking to do is improve, although we want to have a little bit of fun with it.”

“The hand-eye skills in cricket, especially in slip fielding, are exceptional. In baseball, players are often lazy because they have their glove.

“Cricketers grew up playing but they don’t think in the same context but I think fielding can be the toughest.

“They can spend all day, maybe two days in the field. The concentration levels are immense and I’m hugely respectful of it.”

Young felt he was adding to the team’s knowledge base and the fruits of their mutual labour were beginning to flower towards the end of The National Bank One-Day International Series.

“In the last match we saw the culmination of some of things we’ve been doing, such as hitting the stumps,” he said.

“Not in the result, we came up a little short, but we were beginning to see some of the stuff we had trained.”

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