The new Merlyn bowling machine was tested by Director of Cricket Julian Wyatt (right) and new squad coach Jack Bradbury (left) shortly after its delivery at the Devon Cricket Centre on Streatham Campus.

New coach and kit for University Cricket Club

Following a successful start to their British Universities and Colleges Sport indoor league campaign, the University of Exeter Men’s Cricket Club has welcome a series of new arrivals this November.

The highest ranked non-MCCU funded University for Cricket, the University of Exeter Men’s Cricket Club reached the national semi-finals of the BUCS Outdoor Cricket Championships in 2012 / 2013, the Woman’s Club also reaching the indoor and outdoor finals.

This autumn has seen the arrival of a new coach, Jack Bradbury, to the Devon Cricket Centre on Streatham Campus. Part of the University of Exeter’s Graduate Business Partnership programme, Jack will work closely with the Director of Cricket, Julian Wyatt, focusing on the development of the 2nd and 3rd squads, as well as providing 1:1 coaching and support to Exeter College’s performance programme.

Having played for Cardiff Met during his studies, Jack is excited about the new season, after attending his first Exeter training sessions on 5 November.

He commented: “Things are shaping up really well for this season. I would like to think that all of the squads will be strong contenders in BUCS this year. Last year the 2nds, 3rds, and 4ths all won their leagues, which will be a difficult act to follow, but if the players work hard I have no doubt that they can repeat that performance.

“The cricketing set up here is fantastic. Having an indoor centre and all of the equipment certainly makes a coaches job that little bit easier. The players have everything they need here to perform to the best of their ability, and it is great to have Julian on hand to oversee the squads’ development.”

The club also took delivery of a new BOLA Merlyn bowling machine at the beginning of November. First gaining critical acclaim for its role in England’s victory in the 2005 Ashes series, the Merlyn is expected to revolutionise the way the cricket club train.

Pitching the ball at around 60mph Merlyn marks the most significant advancement the University’s cricketing provision since the centre’s opening in 2009.

It is Merlyn’s unique ability to bowl spin that sets it apart from the centre’s current bowling machines. Using a laser guided site to ensure accuracy, coaches will be able to adjust the side and top spin of each  delivery allowing the batsman to practice against any attack they choose.

Director of Cricket Julian Wyatt was on-hand as the machine was delivered, and commented:

“This is a real landmark in the history of the University Cricket Club. Very few clubs in the country are lucky enough to have access to one of these machines.

“Batting against spin has long been an area that we have wanted to improve, and I am now confident that we have the tools to do this.

“Merlyn will essentially provide an unlimited number of spin variations for our batsmen to practice against, which will help them to learn to read the spin and bounce of the ball.”

Costing nearly £14,000 the machine is the only one of its kind in Devon, hugely increasing the training opportunities for the club’s top players.

Julian continued: “Cricket is one of the University’s Focus Sports and it is important that we continue to provide the best possible opportunities for our players. This is a significant investment for the club and shows our continued commitment become the best Cricketing University in the country.

“The University of Exeter has cemented its position as one of the top men’s and women’s student cricketing institutions in the country. These kinds of results are no accident, but the result of hard work and the continued development of our programmes.

“This new equipment and the introduction of Jack to the coaching team, mean we can now offer our cricketers the resources that they deserve to help them progress this season.”

Date: 6 November 2013