The first batch of the PCB Pathway Programme continues to train at full throttle at the National High-Performance Centre in Lahore with players from across the country going through the hard yards under the supervision of foreign and local coaches.
Over the weekend, a renowned strength and conditioning coach Nick Webb who hails from New Zealand joined the programme as part of the Engro Cricket Coaching Project initiative.
Webb has established his credentials as one of the most prominent S&C coaches in world cricket with highly successful stints with New Zealand and Indian men’s teams.
Webb brought a change in the fitness culture and approach of both sides. His extensive knowledge of working with players from the subcontinent made him an attractive choice for the PCB when they began the hunt for an S&C coach to join the programme under the Engro Cricket Coaching Project banner.
With the players being in their formative years, Webb is keen on creating a world-class fitness culture for the participants as they build towards their professional careers at the senior level for Pakistan across the three cricket formats.
Webb has made some elaborate plans both for the youngsters training at the pathway programme as well as local S&C coaches who are working closely with him as part of the PCB’s plans of upskilling coaches.
Nick Webb: “I have been pleasantly surprised both by Lahore and the high performance centre. It is an absolute privilege to be here and work with these youngsters who are full of potential. The PCB Pathway Programme is a fantastic initiative, my aim would be to create awareness amongst the participants on fitness requirements which can help them in their senior careers.
“This initiative can feed the senior team for an extended period, we have got some good consultants and organisers on-board who can help these youngsters develop high-performance habits and culture.
“There is a two-pronged attack from my perspective, the first bit is to ensure these players are fit and strong in three years’ time to handle the demands of international and professional cricket. There is also a coach education plan from my end for local coaches to enhance their knowledge from a sports science perspective so that they can too contribute on a long-term basis.
“It is also about recognising the individual fitness requirements of players, how a batter is different to a bowler, how a tall player is different to one who is short, similarly how players from prominent cities compare to those hailing from smaller towns and rural areas.”
Besides Webb, power-hitting coach Julian Wood and bowling coach Gordon Parsons are delivering daily indoor and outdoor training sessions and lectures to the camp participants.
The two remaining foreign coaches – part of the Engro Cricket Coaching Project under the PCB Pathway Programme – Toby Radford and Julien Fountain have also joined the camp.