COBHAM INVITES CRICKET TOURISTS
Coaching staff from South Africa's successful summer cricket tour visited our Cobham training ground this week.
Having won a one-day international against England at the beginning of the week, the South Africans are now the first cricket team in history to be ranked number one in the world in all three Test, One Day and Twenty/20 forms of the game, but are still keen to learn more and so joined Chelsea staff at Cobham to see how things are done here.
After their tour, head coach Gary Kirsten and bowling coach Allan Donald spoke with Chelsea TV to discuss the visit.
'[Director of football operations] Mike Forde is the connection, he actually worked with the South African team back in 2004,and we set up an opportunity for us to come and have a look and see how things work here,' Kirsten said.
'I'm just blown away by everything I've seen here with the number of football fields here and the science that is in this building,' added Donald, a previous world number one bowler. 'We've spent a bit of time listening to the guys about the mental side of the game and what they do. There are some interesting things that have come out of that in my specific role as a bowling coach, and it's just an amazing facility.'
Just like all over the world, football is loved in South Africa and their cricketers, like England's, can often be seen kicking a football around while practicing.
'There are a lot of pretenders,' Donald explained. 'Robin Peterson, Alviro Petersen, J-P Duminy are all quite skilful youngsters.
'They follow it quite a bit, and Dale Steyn is a big Chelsea fan and I think he will be livid he couldn't come today. They all think they are Didier Drogba when they take it on but it's very light-hearted.'
The South African team will be in action around the country until September 12 with the one-day series to complete, followed by three T20 fixtures.