Alistair Cook and Gary Palmer

Alistair Cook’s personal support team have extensively used BOLA Machines in recent months as an integral part of his Test Match preparation. Graham Gooch, Cook’s long term mentor, has also recruited the help of specialist technical batting coach Gary Palmer to supplement their work.

Ex-Somerset CCC all-rounder Gary Palmer felt that he had identified alignment issues in Cook’s technique and that these were the reason for his lack of runs.

“I was confident that I could help Cook by making some technical adjustments,” said Gary.

“These adjustments, coupled with specific sequences of deliveries on four different angles from dual Bowling Machines, re-aligned his technique and then sealed the changes in his muscle memory. 

“He hits hundreds of balls at each of our sessions and now the adjustments have been made it is a question of constantly and progressively challenging his technique to ensure he can consistently maintain those changes,” said Gary. 

“Alastair is a player utterly dedicated to his sport, who believes in hard work and that is why he is England’s highest Test run scorer”.

“He puts the hard work in and responds very well to the technical input and grooving sessions. I think he now feels better prepared to go out there and do what he does best, score runs.

“Working with the England Captain is the pinnacle of my coaching career.
We continue to work together and it is an honour and a pleasure to do so,” said Gary.
Gary Palmer’s has been championing his ‘two-angle, four-swing’ coaching method for several seasons and more information is available on our news page.

Merlyn challenges young batsmen with the turning ball

Magdalen College School in Oxford took delivery of a Merlyn by BOLA spin bowling machine early this year. School cricket coach Alan Duncan, who is also Performance Coach Sussex CCC and a Level 4 ECB coach, has found the new machine invaluable for challenging young players against he turning ball.

“The Merlyn Machine is an excellent tool to teach young batters which shots work for them and which don’t. The self-feed function allows them to study the turning ball and banish any fears they may have,” said Alan Duncan who began his career on the Lord’s Ground Staff.

“Young batsmen don’t necessary encounter a lot of turning balls and they need time to work out which deliveries should be played with a straight bat and which deliveries are best dealt with by a cross-bat shot.”

“There are few finger spinners in schools’ cricket before the age of thirteen or fourteen because the bowler’s hands are still too small. There are more wrist spinners, but as we all know, accurate wrist spin is a skill which can take many years to learn,” said Alan.

Magdalen College is an Independent school for boys between 7 and 18 and girls in the 6th Form. The school, founded in 1480, has formal tie ups with Sussex CCC and Oxfordshire Cricket Board and regularly supplies players to the Oxfordshire County Squads.

Alan Duncan with Merlyn by BOLA