Q & A with Richard Done

6 February 2005

Richard Done, the ICC High Performance Manager recently visited Canada and kindly consented to answer some questions via e-mail. Richard introduced his position and role as follows:- "I have been in the position of ICC High Performance Manager officially since Jan 1 and as such I am currently travelling to each HPP country to better understand their respective (and often different) issues. At this time I have many thoughts but haven't yet visited all the countries (so far Scotland and Canada) and so had sufficient time or information to digest all and sundry about each country or necessarily define clear objectives for each apart from assisting in areas that may have an immediate effect on the aim to qualify in July."

"My role as High Performance Manager is specifically to work to improve the performance of HPP countries prior to and post the ICC Trophy in July 2005. Although many programs and initiatives will impact on the long term performance of Canadian cricket at elite level many also cross into the realm of either the ICC Development Manager and / or the ICC Regional Development Manager - Americas and I will comment on these generally not specifically."

"My charter in Canada is to work with and advise the CCA (as the national cricket body) and it's high performance structure and personnel. As such this email will responsibly be copied to them and to my manager at ICC for their information."

Jon Harris: A press conference, in my opinion should not be exclusive to a question and answer format.You would know that asking these sort of questions before the large number of CCA persons assembled at the Ontario Sports Centre was not conducive to either Ron or myself developing a realistic dialogue. It became apparent that there was not a provision for an adequate time frame, given that lunch was sitting waiting.

Richard Done: As a guest in Canada I was not invited by yourselves as the media or by CCA to provide other than a "q & a" session and I am sorry that you felt restricted in asking any "sort" of questions. I personally was happy to continue to answer as many relevant questions as you had within my charter as HPM hence the immediacy of my responses below. I am interested though that if you had more to ask that you did not seek to do so during the lunch break when I thanked both Ron and yourself individually for your time.

Jon Harris: Will there be any direct ICC involvement in the development of a core of coaches, given that we do not have higher level coaches in Canada?

Richard Done: Coach education per se is the role of the ICC RDM and the relevant full member nation (ie. West Indies) and the development of coach education structures is certainly an aim of the ICC Development Program. As the HPM the development of a coach education scheme is not on my list of priorities but I do plan on my next visit to Canada (when it is determined) to assist in the development of coaches directly involved with HP pathways or who potentially may be involved in HP pathways in the future.

Jon Harris: Can you give us a schematic of what the timelines are for the realization of a structure and would you be able to suggest when we can expect to see a programme develop?

Richard Done: I can't give you timelines for this but as mentioned above I will be working to assist in finding coach education and other learning opportunities for elite coaches in each of the HPP countries as part of my role.

Jon Harris: The Canadian NCCP gives a fairly decent theoretical background on general sport coaching, will there be any inter-marriage of this system to cricket specifics, or will there be a complete revamp to offer the equivalent of an ECB/ACB structure. (If you are not familiar with the NCCP programme let me know)

Richard Done: I do know from my time with the Australian Coaching Council (the national coach education accreditation body) in the first half of the 1990's that our courses were designed following close consideration of the Canadian system as a leader in the field at that time ie. it evolved with separate "sports general" (theory) and "sports specific" (practical) parts. It was possible to complete each separately or both together depending upon the provider but you were not accredited in a specific sport until you completed the sports specific course at that level. I believe that to be an effective coach requires a blend of experiences including theory, practical coaching experience, good communication skills, and sports specific knowledge. I also believe that the best results are gained in coach education structures through developing country specific courses. Of course in doing so it makes sense to consider including or refining the best and most relevant parts of those already in place elsewhere if they suit the purpose.

Jon Harris: What would be the criterion for selecting coaching candidates into the potential programme?

Richard Done: See above in reference to the HP pathway - ideally for junior coaches and lower level courses given unlimited resources (and this is rarely the case) you would try to educate as many coaches as possible.

Jon Harris: Are we looking at a grassroots approach, to develop a more permanent long term strategy?

Richard Done: See 5. Again in an ideal world both ends of the spectrum are important.

Jon Harris: Will there be a requirement for national clubs to have qualified coaches on their "staff"

Richard Done: Individual leagues will play a huge role in determining this as they currently (as I understand it) run Club cricket in Canada. I think in the long run it would be sensible to head in this direction if resources permit but it should be realised that although in principle it makes good sense some more mature cricket nations with full time staff have still not practically achieved this goal.

Jon Harris: Who will be teaching these courses?

Richard Done: Ideally in the long term this should be an individual country's responsibility but because of the scarcity of experienced presenters in some developing nations it makes sense in the shorter term to import expertise to assist or group coaches from different nations together. This is happening in the Americas region - I believe Derek Perrera attended an ICC course recently with a number of other coaches from the region.

Jon Harris: Given that Canada is an "Associate" nation, will we be expected to pass ECB board exams?

Richard Done: Individuals can choose to go to whatever courses wherever they are as long as they can get into the course. Recognition of any such qualifications I believe is within the realm of the ICC RDM for the region and / or the country involved.

Many thanks to Richard for his detailed responses. (Jon Harris).