Thursday 8 September 2011 | Published in Regional
Former Black Cap cricketer Mathew Sinclair says the Cook Islands should embrace the short forms of cricket to help player development and the sports growth in the nation.
Sinclair, who is currently in the Cook Islands to host a series of training sessions and workshops with local players and teams, said the Cook Islands Cricketing Association (CICA) was heading along the right path by hosting Twenty20 cricket and 40-over, one-day matches.
Twenty20 suits the Cook Islands style down to a T the teams are already playing that form and it gives players the chance to play cricket without the rigour of a five-day test, Sinclair said.
Now the country just needed to invest more in developing its cricketing infrastructure and organisational structures to ensure the sport would continue to grow.
Yesterday, Sinclair praised the spirit and development of Cook Islands cricket to date and said the sport was definitely headed along the right path.
Were lucky in New Zealand because we have all these facilities and structures already set up, Sinclair said.
But here there are so many codes all playing on the same grounds... with the rugby season expanding it can be hard to fit in around it all. Sinclair touched down in the Cook Islands on Sunday as part of a promising new relationship between the New Zealand Cricket Players Association and CICA.
He will stop by training sessions and host one on one workshops with the Cook Islands established cricketers as well as those on the rise.
Sinclair said the players and officials he had met so far showed a huge hunger for cricket and were squeezing as much knowledge out of him as they could.
These guys are passionate about learning game theory and game sense, so for someone like me who loves to talk about cricket a visit like this can go a long way, he said.
Sinclair is bringing with him 10 years of cricketing experience on the international level from playing with the New Zealand squad.
Since hitting 214 runs on debut against the West Indies in 1999, Sinclair has played 32 test matches and 54 one-day international matches in the New Zealand strip.
He is currently playing first class cricket in New Zealand for the Central Districts.
Sinclair admits the trip is also providing him with some valuable experience in coaching and mentoring. He said he was aiming at moving into coaching down the line.
But for the Cook Islands, Sinclairs visit is providing a precious insight into a first-class cricketers mind and unlocking access to someone with an extensive experience at the international level.
Sinclair said it would be great to see the Cook Islands break out into the international circuit in a significant way at some point.
For the time being, he wanted to see the relationship between the Cook Islands and New Zealand associations develop and bring more people and possibly teams to the Cook Islands in the future.