Wednesday, January 10th, 2024


Assistant Coach Richard Jones is already seeing encouraging signs after working with Worcestershire pace bowler Ben Gibbon on tweaking his technique this winter.

The left armer has shown plenty of promise during his first two seasons as a professional cricketer and signed a new three-year contract in April.

He has picked up 40 wickets to date from 15 first class appearances and demonstrated an appetite to bowl for long spells and a willingness to learn.

Jones is hoping that slight adjustments will enable Gibbon to swing the ball more consistently while also improving the control of line and length.

He said: “Ben has been back bowling for a few weeks and we have  looked to make some slight technical adjustments, getting into positions to help maintain momentum throughout his action as well as a stronger position at ball release.

“During the back end of last summer, we spoke about being able to attack both edges of a right-handed batter more consistently, and started the process of analysing his positions and coming up with a plan.

“To left handers he does this naturally really well and is probably our biggest threat to left-handed batters.

“To right handers, we felt a couple of technical things were making it difficult for him to bring the ball back consistently, which, as a left arm bowler, poses a major threat and is a skill that you want to possess.

“We’ve looked at his running technique as well as his position as he is taking off into his jump,  and so far he’s worked really hard on it and we’ve started to see some nice improvements.

“Whenever you refine your technique, it can be a frustrating period of time, as your brain and your body have to get used to being in different positions which can affect the timing and feel of your action.

“But he is doing really well and has applied himself diligently.”

Jones added: “One of Ben’s major strengths is you can always throw him the ball and you know what you are going to get out of him.

“If you look at his journey, he’s probably not had much hands-on contact from a technical point of view up until this point.

“In National Counties cricket, he bowled long spells and worked hard for his wickets, and that’s got him to where he is at now.

“For his continued development, he needs to do those things we mentioned earlier a bit more consistently and to a higher level for him to continue to improve.

“He recognised himself that he needed to make some slight changes and spend some time on the technical side of his bowling.

“There is still a long way to go in the winter, a lot of time left, and I’ve implored him to be patient with it and to trust the process.”

Jones himself admits he made changes in his technique during his own playing career which included spells at Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire.

He said: “I got to a stage where I was always tinkering a little bit. I never made big wholesale changes, but there was some work I did most years.

“The key to making any change is in the analysis and planning, and being as sure as you can that any change you’re trying to make is going to improve performance or reduce injury risk.

“It can be frustrating and not feel great because you’re essentially trying to create a new movement pattern in place of an old one that you’ve done thousands of times over a number of years.

“As human beings it can sometimes be in our nature to be wary of anything that is new and different, which can mean that we become resistant to change.

“I’ve just encouraged Ben to embrace it, embrace any new feelings and positions and trust the process. So far he’s been excellent.”