Blog - Scholes in Auckland

25 Nov

Scotland’s Rachel Scholes is the third Wildcat to send her experiences back home from the other side of the world. Rachel is playing her cricket in New Zealand for Cornwall CC and has also been participated for England in the Indoor World Cup. 

My time in Auckland has been great so far and it has only been a few weeks! After finding somewhere to live and meeting the boss it was off to my first juniors training session to meet some of the other coaches and see where I could help out.

Walking down onto the pitch I was met by easily 50+ kids there, and they were all girls! This amazed me, and the standard of all the age groups was brilliant. Girls aged 6 were impressing me with their throwing and catching, and the under-12 hardballers were great. 

It was clear to see a lot of effort by the coaches had resulted in a job well done. I was quizzed for different drills and games they could use, along with any questions on how to coach the more technical stuff to such a young group. 

I was more than happy to oblige, the kids were great and with a little time I'm sure will improve technically to be great. These girls had all turned up to one club, Cornwall Cricket Club, and it’s clear to see they have a good junior girls set up. 

A few days after this session it was off to the Auckland Central under 15s whom I'll be coaching all season. I was thrown into the deep end as the other coach was absent!  Again the standards were really good, probably the best bunch of girls that age I've seen. Given a few technical pointers they soaked in the knowledge and really improved. It was really pleasing to watch. 

My favourite coaching experience so far was my first one-to-one session with a 9 year old called Emma. I asked what she wanted to improve and she answered "I'd like a better bowling technique", I was surprised to be told this by a 9 year old, but the aim was good, and we set to work. 

Within half an hour we'd altered her run up to make it smooth and were starting the really picky stuff just to improve consistency. The energy she showed me that session and the vast improvements she made impressed me a lot! 

On to my cricket, so far only two games into the season. One upsetting loss under the belt to Auckland Uni, we scored 265-3 and they chased it down getting the last run off the last ball. 

Having left Scotland as a batter I batted 4 and was padded up till the 40th over when it was finally my turn. Last 10 overs meant my aim was simple, hit the ball and score off every ball! I succeeded to a point scoring 25 off 26 balls but got out playing one shot too many. Sad times! For the first time in over a year I was asked to bowl, and I was back to bowling seam. 

Unfortunately we were playing on AstroTurf which was no help to us bowlers and the seam was flat so my bowling did nothing. 

However, I still managed 8 overs with 2 wickets for 37 runs. After such a long period of not being able to bowl seam I was pleased with that, and even more pleased I could still move the next day. 

Our second game was against Eden Roskill, we had a much stronger side for this game and we lost the toss and were put into bat. I was asked to bat at 6 and similarly to last game didn't get in till the 43rd over. 

Same aim as before, but this time I failed. Getting out a few balls in for 0. As a team we made it to 261-6. Amazingly I was asked to open the bowling, which was good as we were on grass, plus I love a new ball. My first few balls were tough, uphill and into the wind, but the ball was moving beautifully! 

Sadly the batters stuck it out in my first spell so no wickets there, I was brought on a while later at the other, and after a few close calls, and I ended with figures of 7 overs 0 wickets for 24 runs. 

Not a bad start to bowling after minor surgery and a long time out, if I do say so myself! It was a boring game to field in as they never looked like they were going to chase the runs, and they finished on 154-5. Second game won, happy days. 

So far Auckland is brilliant, the people are lovely and I’d highly recommend this country to everyone! Looking forward to next week’s game and the start of the T20s soon.

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