Marsh and Buchanan come from completely different schools of cricket but seem to converge on this point. Buchanan encouraged players to go to coaches with their solution to the problem, not with the problem itself. It is a powerful thought and not one to be disregarded. The easiest thing to do with a problem is to go to someone and ask for the solution. It is also, as I have discovered with computers, the surest way to ignorance. As Marsh says, “If you don’t talk about the game, you’ve got no hope of getting better.”The process of working it out will lead to mistakes, but far too often in India we don’t recognise mistakes as essential stops on the way to learning. A nanny doesn’t allow a child to make a mistake, a coach doesn’t allow a young cricketer to go wrong in quest of being right. And by making the learning of cricket similar to the learning of history (which, in the right hands, can be really exciting as well), coaches convert a simple game into a difficult, complicated one. It makes sense, though, for if the coach were to present the game as being very simple, he couldn’t justify making a living out of teaching it, could he?
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