Having studied PE & Sports Science, Information Technology and also gaining a PhD in Sports Biomechanics at Loughborough in the last century, Mike has returned to academia and Loughborough after a long absence to work on a second PhD, jointly funded by the University and the ECB.
His interest in youth cricket is a result of both his daughters playing the game, which in turn led to him becoming a qualified coach and Derbyshire U11 girls’ team manager. This and his academic background compelled him to apply to conduct the project.
Optimal pitch lengths for youth cricket
There is a widely held belief that young cricketers play on wickets which are disproportionately long for their physical capabilities. This is believed to have a detrimental effect on bowling, batting, wicket-keeping and ultimately fielding. This research seeks to determine the effect of playing on shorter pitches and, through detailed analysis of bowling by youth cricketers combined with mathematical modelling, to make new recommendations for pitch lengths in age group cricket.