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Foakes scores 100 on debut

Returning profit, the key for Foakes

Returning profit, the key for Foakes 968 681 dlca-admin

Returning profit, the key for Foakes

Foakes scores 100 on debut

The summer of 2015 saw 21-year-old Ben Foakes travel to Adelaide, Australia and put his best foot forward with the DLCA.

A key member of the U17 and U19 England squad, it was clear that Foakes had the talent to make it to the top and excel, for both Surrey and his country. However, there were fundamentals within his game that the coaching staff including Shaun Seigert and Mark Sorrell recognised needed development.

Specialist batting coach Sorrell stated, “with his batting, he tended to fall over and be off balance…the key was getting his head to come at the bowler”. By the end of the program, Sorrell noted that “Ben hit the ball very hard and clean, displaying talent that is rare and up there with the top internationals”.

Seigert played a fundamental role in the development of Foakes’ mental game, helping him to make his game more self-driven. Seigert spoke with Ben about the concept of him being the CEO of a company; with cricket being his company that had to return a profit. Seigert recalled that “he had to initiate these outcomes and not have people telling him what to do…it allowed him to grow in previously untouched areas”.

Foakes similarly excelled in his strength and conditioning work, being recognised for his professional work ethic and elite aerobic capacity scores. His development and progress saw Foakes return home and star regularly for Surrey’s 1stXI.

Playing for Adelaide University during his time in Adelaide, Foakes had success with both the bat and gloves. He hit his top score with 122 against a strong Glenelg outfit and was the club’s first choice wicket keeper. The DLCA also travelled to Sydney and played a round-robin cup against Big Bash sides Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder, where Ben was a strong performer.

Recently, Foakes became DLCA High Performance Program player number 23 to represent their country in international cricket. He made his debut for England against Sri Lanka on the 6thof November 2018 in Colombo. With past company including Joe Root, Liam Plunkett, Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Monty Panesar, Tammy Beaumont and Kathryn Bryce achieving the same feat, Foakes stood out from the rest; becoming the first DLCA alumni to score a century on debut. He scored an impressive 107 from his first innings to help England secure a victory.

The DLCA team are very proud of Ben’s achievements and wish him the very best in his future endeavours!


DLCA vs South Africa

DLCA bowlers rewarded against Proteas

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DLCA bowlers rewarded against Proteas

DLCA vs Proteas

Left to right: Mahaaz Ahmed, Raff Hussey, Joshua Bishop and Ned Dunning


It is not every day you are able to bowl to an international opponent. However, for four lucky DLCA players, they were rewarded for their hard work at the DLCA and their Australian clubs, and were provided such an opportunity.

The afternoon prior to the second Australia vs South Africa One Day International, Mahaaz Ahmed, Joshua Bishop, Ned Dunning and Raff Hussey walked into the prestigious Adelaide Oval change rooms. Awaiting them, the entire South African team.

Mahaaz Ahmed, an 18-year-old from Worcestershire and Malvern College, was rewarded for his strong performance at his Australian club Southern Districts. Mahaaz played one game for the B-grade premier side, however quickly advanced into the A-grade side. Here, he has seen solid results with both the bat and ball, scoring a game winning 61* with his best figures of 2/112 from 21 overs.

Joshua Bishop, from Barbados and U19 West Indies player, has been extremely economical for his Adelaide based club Woodville. Starting off in the A-grade premier side, Josh has successfully battled against the strong spinning line up at Woodville, including state representative Tom Andrews, and has claimed best figures of 3/14.

Ned Dunning, from Somerset and Millfield School, has featured for his Adelaide club Northern Districts, coached by Mark Cosgrove, claiming best figures of 3/22. Raff Hussey, based in Barton on Sea and Arnewood School, has been solid for Port Adelaide, claiming best figures of 3/19 from 16 overs.

For many of the players, this was their first experience bowling to players of an international calibre. Whilst daunting at first (and a few loose balls hitting the turf), the boys soon were in the swing of it; landing multiple dot balls against the likes of Quinton De Kock, Faf du Plessis and David Miller. A highlight from the bowling session was when Ned Dunning had Proteas T20 powerhouse Farhaan Behardien tangled at the crease and spun the ball past his bat, hitting him right in the sweet spot. The result saw Behardien rolling on the floor in pain, with an amused Dunning unsure how to react at the top of the wicket.

In further exciting news, the same four boys, with the additions of Mishal Khan and Joe Hagan-Burt, will have the opportunity to bowl to the Indian test team; featuring the likes of Virat Kohli, Ajinka Rahane and Ravi Ashwin.

It is sure to be an exciting time for these DLCA bowlers and we look forward to the incredible opportunities ahead for them.


New DLCA coaching group

New DLCA coaching group

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New DLCA coaching group

New DLCA coaching group

Left to right: Sean Baker, Peter Muggleton, Darren Lehmann, Mark Harrity, Brad Young and Mark Cosgrove


A new season calls for a new coaching lineup.

The DLCA welcomes Mark Harrity (third from left) as the new Head Coach, succeeding Shaun Seigert who had previously lead the academy for 15 years. Mark brings a fresh set of eyes to the program and a wealth of experience.

A fast bowler by trade, Mark played 84 first-class games for South Australia and Worcestershire between 1993-2004 and was part of the South Australia Shield winning team in 1995/96.

After retiring, Mark moved into coaching and spent 3 years with the SACA as a Strength and Conditioning and Bowling Coach. Outside of the DLCA, Mark is currently Head Coach at the West Torrens Cricket Club.

Mark has compiled a strong group of specialist coaches to work alongside him, including Peter Muggleton (Fast Bowling), Brad Young (Spin Bowling), Mark Cosgrove (Batting), Peter Sleep (Spin Bowling), Sean Baker (Strength & Conditioning) and Andrew Zesers (Batting).

A major focus for the new coaching group is to focus on the players physical wellbeing upon returning home, ensuring their body is ready for the upcoming season.

We look forward to the new look coaching group working together to continue to deliver the world renowned High Performance Program.










Darren Lehmann and the 2018/19 High Performance Program players

2018/19 High Performance Program Launch

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2018/19 High Performance Program Launch

Darren Lehmann and the 2018/19 High Performance Program players

The DLCA High Performance Program kicked off for the 2018/19 season this week! After long haul flights from the other side of the world, players arrived in Adelaide over the weekend from Scotland, England and Barbados. The group were hosted by Darren at a welcome dinner on Sunday night, where players had an opportunity to network and were presented with their playing kit.

With some players still bearing weary eyes, they were thrown into their first training on Monday morning which involved batting and fitness. When they weren’t working on their batting technique, the players were completing their first 2km time trial. Not easy in the windy conditions Adelaide was thrown that day!

On Tuesday the players were back at it at Gillespie Sports, this time working on their craft and strength – the batters bat, bowlers bowl and wicket keepers are behind the stumps. The specialty coaches were in for their first session with the players, and they had good one on one conversations about what they players goals are while they are at the High Performance Program. In the gym, the players completed a number of strength tests which will become the basis of programs specially tailored to them.

Darren attended training on Tuesday and was really excited by the talent he saw on display. He was also really pleased with how passionate the players are and how seriously they approached trainings, soaking up everything they were being told.

Away from the training nets, the players have also been finding their feet around Adelaide, settling into accommodation, and have had their first trainings with the local clubs they will be playing for while they are out in Adelaide!

The start of any cricket season is always an exciting time and we can’t wait to see how this crop of players develops over the coming months!








Ben Wilkinson

From Scotland to a Cricket World Cup – Ben Wilkinson

From Scotland to a Cricket World Cup – Ben Wilkinson 1200 630 dlca-admin

From Scotland to a Cricket World Cup – Ben Wilkinson

Ben Wilkinson

It is not every day you hear the words Cricket World Cup and Scotland in the same sentence.

But for Ben Wilkinson, making the 2015 U19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh was everything. And it is was a dream he achieved.

Wilkinson arrived at the Darren Lehman Cricket Academy (DLCA) as an 18 year old in 2014, destined to put his best foot forward for the six months he was going to be in Australia. However, it was always going to be a challenge for the powerful right-handed batsman to transition from an associate cricketing country, to a full member nation. The primary focus was for Wilkinson to tighten up his game and put some structure behind technique. Head Coach Shaun Seigert stated, “he always wanted to hit the ball and he played with a lot of risk”. This was most likely due to the different formats of cricket played in each country, where Australia plays two-day matches in comparison to the one-day games in Scotland. Being a batsman in Australia requires structure to your batting game and patience at the crease.

Wilkinson played for grade club Woodville District Cricket Club and learnt on many occasions the difference in bounce and pace offered in Australian wickets. In addition, he became familiar with the strong level of competitiveness and it provided him with a tougher edge than before. Training in a professional environment was a big step up for Wilkinson, but he did not fail in his journey. He had a very open mind to different training methods and was looking at every way gain a competitive advantage.

Although the popular teenager was already in the Scottish U17 set up, being picked in the U19 World Cup team was going to be a big step up. After returning home, Wilkinson realised this dream and went on to compete for his country in the tournament hosted in Bangladesh.

Not only does the talented cricketer have a bright future ahead, Wilkinson also has a great interest from a coaching perspective. He is now coaching Dunf & Carnegie Cricket Club and looking to develop strong cricket pathways in the Scottish system.

The DLCA wishes Ben all the best in his future cricketing endeavours!









Liam Plunkett at the DLCA

Plunkett reinvents his game at the DLCA

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Plunkett reinvents his game at the DLCA

Liam Plunkett at the DLCA

Liam Plunkett was dubbed one of England’s most talented and successful bowlers in the early 2000s. The year is 2005 and Plunkett is Durham’s leading wicket taker and made his Test and ODI debuts for England in their tour  of Pakistan. The right arm pace bowler is sending thunderbolts down the pitch to the likes of Younis Khan and would go on to play 9 more tests and 27 ODI matches within the next two years.

All of a sudden the dream was stagnating, Plunkett’s County form dropped away and he was brutally cut from the English squad. In 2011 and 20112, the situation spiralled out of control with the 6’3 big man playing only 3 matches for Durham during this time. Confidence had been lost in his own game and Plunkett needed a drastic overhaul to get his career back on track.

On his own funds, Plunkett decided to apply to the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) and arrived in Australia at the end of the 2012 season. Head Coach Shaun Seigert described Plunkett as “very fragile” when he first arrived at the Academy.

“The key for Liam was to strip back all of the barriers and normalities that surrounded him at home”.

Playing in Australia offered Plunkett a great chance to get a lot of bowling under his belt. It provided him with the opportunity to get away from all of the issues he faced at home and focus on his game, in a headspace that he could control.

Whilst attending the DLCA, Plunkett played for Adelaide University and also had the opportunity to play against the Victorian Bushrangers 2nd XI at the MCG.

Seigert described this match as a turning point for Plunkett, who was able to strip back all of his worries and bowl with complete freedom. Rather than thinking he was bowling controlled deliveries that had to hit a specific mark, the DLCA coaching staff encouraged him to ‘let loose’ and send fiery deliveries to the opposition. He claimed 3/77 and scored 60 runs from in a match that was played on a strong batting wicket.

Seigert stated “he had to rebuild his career on his own back, he put in the hard yards and left no stone unturned”.

After returning to England, he made the switch to Yorkshire under coach Jason Gillespie and was quickly added into the England A squad. It was only a matter of months before he was reselected for the national team and now features as a regular for the Test, ODI and T20 sides.

The DLCA staff are very proud of Liam’s career defining summer in Australia and help instill confidence in every cricketer that attends the Academy.










Tsunami survivor Chathuranga De Silva capitalises on DLCA experience

Tsunami survivor Chathuranga De Silva capitalises on DLCA experience 990 600 dlca-admin

Tsunami survivor Chathuranga De Silva capitalises on DLCA experience

Chathuranga De Silva attended the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy

Chathuranga De Silva will tonight represent Colombo in their top of the table clash against Dambulla in the Super Provincial T20 tournament,  but he considers himself lucky just to be alive.

In December 2004, the all-rounder and his teammates in a Sri Lankan provincial side had completed their warm-up ahead of a tour game at Galle International Stadium when the Boxing Day tsunami struck.

The ground was devastated and his family thought he was dead.

“We saw the tsunami coming,” recalled De Silva, who is attended the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) in 2014 and played for Southern District’s during his time in Australia.

Thankfully the team retreated in time to avoid being among the more than 200,000 people killed worldwide from the natural disaster, triggered by an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia.

Fast forward 10 years and De Silva, the first Sri Lankan alumni, arrived at the DLCA as a 24 year old with minimal English skills. At the beginning he struggled to socialise with the other cricketers in the group and he was homesick, however it was not long before he let his cricket do the talking. Despite the language barrier, the left arm orthodox bowler and left handed batsman interacted with the coaches tremendously and helped build confidence in his own game.

The DLCA’s Head Coach Shaun Seigert stated “Chathuranga had an incredible ability to implement any information very quickly, it’s a top sign of any elite player”.

“One of my favourite parts about Chathuranga was that because of the differences in food, he would eat noddles with Tabasco sauce to add flavour”

Upon returning home, De Silva made his ODI debut against South Africa and soon after won the Asia World Cup in Bangladesh.

He has since been one of Sri Lanka’s most reliable and consistent fringe players in the national side at ODI and T20 level.

De Silva’s younger brother Wanidu Hasaranga also represents Sri Lanka at ODI level.










A man born to lead

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A man born to lead

Alex Wakely, or ‘Wakers’ as he is commonly called has been a shining light for the County cricket system. Breaking through as a talented junior, Wakely represented England U19’s and captained them in the 2008 World Cup. The following year he brought his skillset to the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) and flourished as a natural leader.

As many players do, Wakely first struggled to adapt to the Australian wicket and found it difficult to read the bounce. Despite some early struggles, the current Northamptonshire Captain remained true to himself and displayed incredible persistence. Wakely demonstrated strong leadership to his entire group, one which included English players Alex Hales, Jake Ball and Samit Patel. He had a positive impact on his High Performance Program group from the beginning, but certainly learnt a lot about his own game in the process. Head Coach Shaun Seigert described him as “a stroke maker type…a fluent batsman who is very clean and sharp”.

During his time in Adelaide, Wakely played for Prospect District Cricket Club and displayed his calm temperament on many occasions. He was a player who came to Australia with a reputation for being a junior international player and the Australian bowlers often put a target on his head. Towards the end of the program, Wakely began to dominate and score some serious runs for his grade club.

There was one story in particular Seigert recounted about Wakely’s experience. “He came out to Australia when players were billeted out, rather than living in shared accomodation like they do now”.

“At this particular time, the person he was living with had no air conditioning”.

(P.S. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, Australian summers can be testing, with temperatures in Adelaide potentially reaching up to 40°C .)

“While it would be normal to be unhappy, Wakely simply used a piece of mesh on his wall to cool himself down”.

“He didn’t complain once”.

“He was a man born to lead with one of the most authentic personalities”.

After returning to England upon completion at the academy, Wakely became a regular in the Northants 1st XI. It did not take long for the club to realise that he was a man they needed to keep at the club for life and made him captain at the ripe age of 24. He soon featured and captained Northamptonshire in all formats of the game.











The first American cricketer – Texas to Adelaide

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The first American cricketer – Texas to Adelaide


He is among the fast bowling cartel…from Texas.

It is not every day you hear of a young Pakistani born American plying his trade in the cricket world. In a country obsessed with baseball, Shuja Naqvi, 22, was the first American player to attend the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA). In 2015, Naqvi made the trip to Adelaide, Australia seeking to improve his game. The right-arm pace bowler who played for the University of Houston said that he needed to come to come to the academy to get professional coaching for the first time.

During his time in Adelaide, Naqvi was highly impressed with the professional standards offered and played with Woodville District Cricket Club. He recounted that “I had a lot of technical flaws in my action and now I know how to continue working on them when I go back home”. Head coach Shaun Seigert was particularly impressed with Naqvi’s ability to get up to speed with the difference in training intensities between the two countries.

“Shuja had a fantastic work ethic and attitude…it was just a case of getting him to follow a program and improve specific aspects of his game.”

A highlight of Naqvi’s time with the DLCA was not only his noticeable improvement in cricket, but “living with other professional athletes matures you a lot faster and you learn to adapt to things quicker.”

Naqvi says cricket is ­becoming more popular in the US and is shown on specialist cable cricket channel Willow TV, as well as online.

“People have an idea about what cricket is but not too much, only that it’s a foreign sport.”

The DLCA is continuing to build its strong relationship with North America through hosting camps in both the USA and Canada. The DLCA has since seen a clear rise in North American players attending the High Performance Program and welcomes anyone from the region wanting to improve their skills.






DLCA scholars feature in Ireland A vs Bangladesh A – ODI series

DLCA scholars feature in Ireland A vs Bangladesh A – ODI series 1023 576 dlca-admin

DLCA scholars feature in Ireland A vs Bangladesh A – ODI series

A series composed of ODI matches, Ireland and Bangladesh sent their A squads to face off in a closely contested tournament. As hosts, Ireland would play Bangladesh in matches spread between Wicklow and Dublin. Despite being listed as an unofficial ICC tournament, both nations were not taking the contest lightly, utilising the series to test and assess different players for the future. Cricket Ireland’s Chair of Selectors Andrew White stated, “These Wolves matches fit into the longer-term planning of the senior management team building towards the World T20 Qualifier in 2019”.

Over the past decade, Cricket Ireland have forged a close partnership with the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA) and have seen multiple players train in Adelaide, Australia. The Ireland A squad to take on Bangladesh A consisted of 3 DLCA scholars, Stuart Thompson (2016/17), James McCollum (2017/18) and Shane Getkate (2010).

Despite the first ODI match at Oak Hill Cricket Club in Wicklow ending in a draw due to poor weather, the remainder of the series shaped up to be a thriller. The second match played at the same venue began with a commanding 289 run first innings from Bangladesh, in which Ireland’s top order saw a collapse and inevitably failed to chase down the total.

Entering the third match at 1-0, Ireland desperately needed to step up. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the top order once again failed to make a stand. Thankfully swing bowling allrounder and DLCA scholar Stuart Thompson came to the rescue and posted a solid 69 from 91 balls. Head Coach of the DLCA Shaun Seigert described Thompson as “a very aggressive type, which is reflected in a man in a hurry. Everything was on fast forward for him, it was all about scoring runs”. His partner at the other end varied between Andy McBrine and other DLCA scholar Shane Getkate. The trio proved to be the backbone of the Ireland team who won by 34 runs.

Game four was extremely high scoring, however dominated from the outset by Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque. As the series had now switched to being played in Dublin, the Tigers batsman scored a phenomenal 182 from 133 balls, leading his team to a total score of 386. Although Ireland failed to win the match, DLCA scholars James McCollum (43) and Stuart Thompson (42) were pivotal in the run chase.

Heading into the fifth and final match, Bangladesh held a 2-1 lead. Although a series victory was out of Ireland’s hands, the team were not settling for defeat. A five-wicket haul from local fast bowler Peter Chase and an impressive 160 not out from batsman Andrew Balbirnie helped seal a draw for Ireland in the ODI series.