I’m always searching for ways to improve club cricket net practice. The challenge is engaging players at the right level. This game is one I came up with after realising an area we rarely practice.

The net game was simple: Score as may “fives” as possible.

Of course, it’s impossible to do this perfectly, but we made some simple rules to encourage the batsman to rotate the strike after hitting a boundary: My most adored five.

In the net, batsmen bat in pairs, bowlers bowl in turn. Cones are set out to mark gaps in the field and batsmen rotate when they hit the gap. Pretty normal so far.

Here’s the variation:

  • If the batsman hits a four (by their own judgement), the same bowler must bowl another ball.
  • If the batsman rotates - as above - they get to record a successful five.
  • The pair with most fives at the end wins.

Simple, but effective at working on a specific goal without taking players too far out of their expectations of a net. This was good for the University guys I coach because they are not super focused on performance, but still care enough to want to come to nets. This drill finds a nice balance between focus and “having a go”.

Try it, adapt it. Let me know what you think!

AuthorDavid Hinchliffe