Former Aussie captain backs Shilly's theory
Friday 10th March 2006



A new book by former Australian captain Greg Chappell has been described as "dynamite" by a local author who has been acknowledged in the tome.

Chappell, who played 87 Tests and skippered his country 48 times, has written a coaching book based on studies of some of the world's greatest cricketers over several decades, but his views could send shock waves through the corridors of coaching power with assessments that effectively pour scorn on traditional methods of teaching.

On the straight back lift, Chappell says: "One of the worst mistakes a batsman can make. The straight back lift is one of the great myths of cricket."

He believes timing, not technique, is what makes successful cricketers. "I simply get youngsters to watch the ball and move. If we try to teach kids by rote we are likely to destroy their confidence and lots of kids will lose interest."

These words are music to the ears of Tony Shillinglaw, former captain of Birkenhead Park, cricket coach and writer of 'Bradman Revisited - The Legacy of Donald Bradman' (previously previewed here).

Shillinglaw and his book, which he co-wrote with friend Brian Hale, are acknowledged in Chappell's bibliography, and he said: "Chappell's views are certainly revolutionary. They are dynamite, and it is rewarding to see they are in accord with the findings of our Bradman study."

The Merseyside writers' book, published in 2003 and based on many years' study, concluded that Bradman was so successful because he had an alternative way of batting, using natural movement and rotary action for shot selection.

The pair have led a crusade in which they have encouraged the England cricket authorities to consider the Bradman method of batting.

"We have made our case," said Shillinglaw. "It is for others to decide. The essence of the thing is that Greg Chappell has been a world class bats man. He and others look on Bradman from an orthodox point of view, but don't understand him.

"Chappell is getting at the development of youngsters, saying they have to learn ball skills to hit the ball. He doesn't talk about defence - because the purpose of batting is to score runs."

On the reference in the book, Hale added: "You can't get a better commendation than that. All our labours have been justified."

Greg Chappell on Coaching
author: GS Chappell
paperback: 224 pages (24 May 2005)
publisher: Aurum Press Ltd
ISBN: 1 84 513095 2
price 12.99 (8.57 on www.amazon.co.uk)

Bradman Revisited - The Legacy of Donald Bradman
author: AL Shillinglaw
hardcover: 200 pages (1 April 2003)
publisher: Parrs Wood Press
ISBN: 1 90 315838 9
price: 14.95 (9.90 on www.amazon.co.uk)

order the two from Amazon for 18.47 and you have free UK delivery (orders over 15.00).