Reeve to rev his squad up in the clouds
WOW! All 16 players in one place. I was beginning to wonder if it would actually happen.
Without doubt the most frustrating aspect of my coaching stint with the Hong Kong squad has been trying to get all the boys together for training sessions.
In fact, I never managed to achieve this in six weeks. Now there is only one day to go until our first tournament fixture. Time to panic.
Actually, I'm fairly happy with the preparation to date. I've particularly enjoyed the one-on-one coaching sessions back in Hong Kong.
This is where the real benefit of coaching happens. The boys have kept me busy with lunchtime practices and at times had me in the nets before work at 7 am.
I guess it's an impossible situation in a city like Hong Kong where business takes people overseas so often and keeps them in the office late.
Now the tour has begun, let's hope the squad can switch off from their jobs and concentrate on the business to be done here.
In all my coaching sessions, I placed an emphasis on the importance of fitness.
Nairobi is 6,000 feet above sea level. Having played at a similar altitude, it definitely has a negative effect on your stamina.
I witnessed England bowler Paul Allott on an MCC tour in Namibia finish an over off two steps. He then left the field gasping for breath.
A player's skill is affected badly when he tires. A batsman may score an excellent hundred but unless his fitness is such that he can perform adequately in the field, the innings may be wasted.
It was pleasing to see Jonathan Orders field so well against the Suzika Asian XI after scoring 96 off 141 balls last Sunday.
Incidentaly J. O. (as he is known in the camp) finished top in a recent fitness assessment.
In the two friendly matches so far here, the boys have won easily against inferior opposition. The performance against Malaysia was particularly pleasing with all the batsmen looking confident in amassing 277. And that was on a poor wicket. We then bowledand fielded well to dismiss Malaysia for 110.
It was interesting to see a couple of officials from the Denmark camp at the game and amazing to see one of them hide his dictaphone everytime I walked past.
Let's hope Sunday's game against the Danes has a similar result.
Dermot Reeve is Hong Kong's coach in Nairobi.