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WBBL coach Clark mentoring next gen of spinners

29 June 2017

Anthony Clark joined some of Australia's best spin coaches for a week of intensive coaching with the country's best young talent.

Earlier in June, Sixers WBBL Assistant Coach and former New South Wales Sheffield Shield player Anthony Clark spent a week at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane to give expert spin coaching to some of Australia's next generation of slow bowlers. 

Along with Sixers BBL player Johan Botha, Clark joined Beau Casson, Xavier Doherty and Ashley Mallett for a week of intensive coaching and insight.

Clark was Coach Ben Sawyer's assistant in WBBL|01 when the Sixers fought back valiantly from an uncharacteristic start to the tournament to make it all the way to the Big Final at the MCG. They weren't able to come away with victory that season but finished the following year as WBBL|02 Champions, with Clark on board as Assistant Coach again.

"The girls played fantastically well and we were lucky enough to win the Final over at the WACA," said Clark.

"Which was a great game and a really good experience for everyone involved."

Along with his WBBL coaching experience, over a decade as a cricket coach and as Pathways and Assistant Coach at Cricket NSW, Clark was able to impart his extensive coaching and playing knowledge onto the young bowlers at the spin camp.

"A couple of weeks ago, I spent the week up in Brisbane where all the states send some of their more talented young spinners," said Clark.

"They spend a week learning different skills, bowling, talking to different people, listening to different panels with some coaches and high profile players to try and give them more experience so they can adapt and move their cricket forward.

It's the third time Clark has ventured to the spin camp and believes the coaches themselves lean a lot from the experiences.

With Twenty20 cricket and the men's and women's Big Bash Leagues booming in Australia, Clark said they taught the young spinners the importance of their art to the shortest form of the game. 

"One of the things discussed up there was how important spin bowling is to T20 cricket," said Clark.

"How leg spinners in particular have such a big role to play in Twenty20 cricket.

"I think spinners are a massive part of every game and they're used at the top of the innings when the power play is in and through the middle they're so vital for how your team can perform on game day."

It's not just spinners that T20 cricket has benefited, Clark believes it's helped the game grow at almost every level and has rocketed the women's game into the spotlight.

"I think all the changes from red ball, into white ball cricket, into Twenty20 has probably just opened up more opportunities for players and coaches," said Clark.

"Experience of Big Bash the last couple of years with the girls - just seeing the women's game develop and go forward again. And the talent in the women's game is just expanding all the time, so it's quite exciting all around the board."

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