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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 April, 2005, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Academy prepares for the Moores touch
By Oliver Brett

Peter Moores
Rod's got his style, I've got mine
Peter Moores

The second chapter in the brief history of England's National Cricket Academy is about to be written.

And in Peter Moores, the England and Wales Cricket Board has selected a man who in many ways is poles apart from the inaugural boss, Rod Marsh.

Australian Marsh was appointed in 2001 when English cricket - though improving - was still seen as being too soft.

So it was no accident that the academy was launched in somewhat austere fashion at Sandhurst, a venue better known for training young army officers.

Under Moores, however, the next generation of Test hopefuls are more likely to be coaxed into becoming star cricketers rather than bashed into shape.

Moores, 42, a former MCC young cricketer, kept wicket for Worcestershire and Sussex in a 16-year career.

Considered one of the better keepers in the country at the time, he was rarely close to playing at international level with Jack Russell and Alec Stewart occupying the role.

But what he never quite achieved as a player, he certainly has done as a coach - the dramatic 2003 County Championship success the most obvious feather in his cap.

Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss is one of the best advertisements for the academy

Lean, tanned, and tall for a former wicket-keeper, Moores has a simple mantra:

"My whole philosophy of coaching is about getting excellence out of people rather than putting it in."

But he knows that he will have to steer a path between giving the academy his personal touch and letting it run at its natural pace.

"Rod's got a reputation for being a fantastic coach. He's got his style, I've got mine. In the next few months I'll have plenty of time to think about how we move forward.

"[The academy] has got itself really established so far and it's up to me to find out how to add to that."

When Moores ends his associations with Sussex on 1 October, he will not necessarily have all the powers currently aforded to Marsh.

He does not yet know if he will have a selection input in choosing national sides - and may not even pick the first intake of academy pupils.

Succeeding Fletcher?

Somewhat embarrassed when asked if he considered himself a role model for other English coaches, it is nevertheless plain why Moores ticked all the right boxes when the ECB chose him for the job.

"I love the game," he says.

"People tell me I'm enthusiastic and my passion is to develop people. Hopefully by doing that we can get the most out of them.

"My challenge is to make them better. But the better England do the harder it is to get into the team.

"All we can do is make sure they go through that process and come out a better player and person."

He is understandably cagey about what he might do in 2008, when his contract at the academy comes to an end.

But having already been approached by West Indies before they settled on Bennett King, one possibility for Moores would be to succeed Duncan Fletcher as England coach.

Who said that the foreign route was the only way forward?

Interview: New National Academy coach Peter Moores


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