Pre-Season Nets: The good the bad and the soreness

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We are now into February which means the cricket season is now only just over two short months away from starting up again. With this in mind it seems more and more clubs are beginning their pre-season training earlier too with most clubs now having begun their Winter nets in January this year.

Could this early start for a large quantity of clubs be a result of the increase in grass roots cricket quality over the past few years and the competitive nature of cricket in the midlands increasing as well?

With the start of winter training comes all the new kit people have got since the end of the previous season. With new kit comes the need to play it all in. By now everyone knows that you can not simply take a new cricket bat out into a game against a rock hard new ball but to play it in against a used ball after knocking it in fully (a service we do offer here at Talent Cricket).

The quality of kit across the board in my opinion has never been as close in recent history as it is for the 2017 season. Over the lsst 15-20 years the number of brands have gone up and down all the time with some established names from the history of cricket such as Duncan Fearnley being replaced by the likes of New Balance and Adidas coming in. We also have the luxury now where a lot of the smaller brands which have been around for a while now like Chase and Salix are becoming more known and used around the country. This to me shows the dominance of the "Big 3" in Kookaburra, Gray-Nicolls and Gunn & Moore may not be the same as it once was, mainly down to brands like the previously mentioned New Balance amd the rise of brands such as TON. These new brands are challening the stable giants within the cricket community because of their pulling power with their sponsored pros but also in New Balance they have a reputation of quality within the sporting world.

Winter training gives everyone the possibility to begin on the same platform remembering which end of a bat to hold and how to bowl again as well as fearing the aches and pains that will come the next day after having not done any cricket activity since the end of the season. As I previously mentioned the growing quality of grassroots cricket is putting more importance on the preperation that teams have throughout the season from those first net sessions all the way until the close of that season. We no longer see the players turning up and playing ways in which they won't come the season starting and taking their time batting and bowling more seriously.

Let me know what you and your club think the biggest benefits are for winter nets below in the comments section. Also, let me know what you think is best in terms of length or pre-season training?



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