Two of Oakham’s cricket coaches have written, illustrated and launched a new book on the sport, which focuses on the role of the captain in the game.
The book is a culmination of their experience both as county players and now as coaches at Oakham School. Wesley Durston who has played for Somerset CCC and Derbyshire CCC and now plays for Oakham Town CC, has joined forces with his club cricket rival Patrick Latham, who currently plays for Uppingham Town CC, whilst having previously played for Somerset 2nd XI and Cambridgeshire CCC.
The introduction to the book outlines how, when they coach at Oakham School they focus not just on the technical skills of ‘how to play’, but on encouraging the students to really understand the game. The result has not only seen players improve, develop and thrive on the pitch – but was also the inspiration to write a book to share their knowledge more widely.
‘A Leading Edge’ also features contributions from over a dozen current and past cricket captains, coaches and umpires including Caroline Atkins (Durham MCCU & England), Tom Abell (Somerset) and Rob Bailey (Northamptonshire) - allowing students and players to benefit from the wisdom of a variety of professional cricketers’ opinions. Two Old Oakhamians have also contributed their advice - the School’s first girls X1 captain, Amy Schanschieff (18), and Matthew Boyce (03) (Leicestershire).
The book has been written for school and club players who want, and need, to learn more about the finer points of the game in order to successfully develop further as players. “Most cricket books are biographies focused on individual players, or are histories of the game,” says author and illustrator Patrick Latham. “’A Leading Edge’ stands out as being a practical, accessible, and most importantly, interesting, guide to cricket.”
“The book goes far beyond just developing cricketing skills, it encourages readers to think about, and understand all aspects of the game - touching on topics such as formulating a plan, setting a field for different bowlers and situations, as well as how to make tough decisions,” expands Wesley. “There are no hard and fast rules of cricket captaincy, you learn by understanding the game and from the experience of playing. ‘A Leading Edge’ is a culmination of both our experience, and the experience of other leading cricketers, to give a ‘fast track’ to those who are, or who aspire to be, captains.”
The book, which is set to be the first in the series, is available on Amazon and also at Walkers Books in Oakham.