During the T20 World Cup, social media was full of posts praising the New Zealand team for their chat with the Thailand players after their clash. In another incident of a similar nature, Meg Lanning, Australia’s captain, shared her experience with Ireland in a virtual batting masterclass with Isobel Joyce, former Ireland captain.
“It was exceptionally generous of Meg to contribute her time to the session, particularly given that it was the evening in Australia when she joined the masterclass,” said Ed Joyce, Ireland’s head coach, who chaired the session.
“Both she and Isobel were expansive and engaging in how they talked through their preparation and thought processes going into big games, as well as drilling down on areas such as shot selection and preparing multiple plans for opponents they came up against. The clear message from both players to our young squad is – get to know what you’re good at, and focus on becoming the best you can be at that.”
The session also included contributions from Matthew Mott, Australia’s head coach. There were clips of Isabel batting as well as Lanning’s innings, which were used as case studies.
“We analysed Meg’s T20I century against England at Chelmsford in 2019 as a case study in forward planning and adjusting your game to suit the conditions on the day, while Isobel based part of her piece on the dramatic last-ball run chase victory over Bangladesh at Pembroke in 2018,” said Ed.
“Both innings provided valuable insights for our squad in taking control of an innings and playing your natural game when the pressure is on. This was the first masterclass we have run during the lockdown, with more coming up on seam bowling, spin bowling, and fielding. We were able to record the session and will use it as an internal education piece going forward. With the busy calendars of modern cricketers these days, we are grateful for Meg’s enthusiasm to share her experience, and we thank her and Cricket Australia for supporting this session.”
“Many thanks also to Isobel – with her development and coaching roles, I know she continues to remain busy in the sport despite the lack of on-field activity.”
No wonder, Laura Delany, the captain of Ireland, was delighted after the interaction.
“Any time you can pick the brains of experienced cricketers such as Meg and Isobel is valuable, and I know that our entire squad enjoyed this unique opportunity,” she said. “People often underestimate the mental aspect of the game, and both players spoke about the importance of mental preparation before a game and how to keep a clear mind and focus when on the field.”
“Even despite the fact I was batting with Isobel during that Bangladesh run chase in 2018, it is still time well spent in analysing her innings and her thought processes in hindsight. Digging into the psychology of a successful sportsperson is an invaluable exercise, and will hopefully benefit many of our squad members who are learning their game and keen to get back out on the field. It’s frustrating for all of us to be not playing, but the unexpected opportunity of this session is a great offset.”
Ireland are due to play the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Sri Lanka, which was originally due to be played in July. But an update about that due to the current pandemic is still awaited.