The newly formed Century Cricket Group has acquired the Australian Cricket Institute (ACI) to form one of Australia’s largest privately owned cricket companies.

Century Cricket Group is co-founded by successful healthcare businessman Stuart Giles, Australian cricket great Ian Healy AO and world-renowned commentator Mark Nicholas, alongside cricket entrepreneurs and founders of the ACI Nick Fitzpatrick and Joel Hamilton.

Century Cricket Group is creating an integrated ecosystem of cricket opportunities across competitions, coaching and training centres within existing business models, and creating new ones.

The ACI has been a staple part of cricket coaching and player development in the Australian community since 2015. As part of their ongoing commitment to making quality cricket coaching available to everyone, it has joined Century Cricket Group and in 2023 will be rebranded to Century Cricket Coaching.

“The ACI is very excited to join Century Cricket Group as it means we’ll be able to provide our players, coaches and supporters ongoing evolution and growth, plus give access to a wider and more diverse cricket environment,” said co-founder of the ACI Joel Hamilton.

“We will be introducing a fun new look but remain the same team of people who aim to deliver consistent and excellent cricket coaching programs,” said co-founder of the ACI Nick Fitzpatrick.

With a focus on showcasing talent from across the country – giving players the scope to grow and expand their game – the Australian Premier League has also joined Century Cricket Group and in 2023 will be rebranded to Century Cricket Competitions.

Century Cricket Competitions will continue to build and develop the dynamic and innovative 100-ball Century format introduced with the Brisbane Premier League (BPL) and Adelaide Premier League (APL) giving participants opportunities to play fast and entertaining cricket.

Brisbane was the first state to bring the Australian Premier League to market and has had an exciting first two years, with the successful introduction of the 100-ball Century format in its second year. Adelaide has also just successfully completed its inaugural Century competition to excitable fans.

“Since its launch, the BPL has always sought to identify opportunities to extend the playing experience of cricketers. To be able to build off the excitement of a privatised franchise cricket competition and to successfully introduce a new playing format is a wonderful next step in the expansion of the Australian Premier League. I cannot wait to see what our league partners, franchise owners, players, coaches and support staff deliver with the Century Cricket Competitions,” said Chair of the Century Cricket Group Stuart Giles.

Century Cricket Competitions will run under their new look in Brisbane and Adelaide in 2023 and will expand into new locations.

The Century Cricket Group is looking forward to continuing the good work that the ACI and Australian Premier League have done by providing quality and fun cricket experiences for players around Australia.

Death Bowling - Hero or Villain? It’s A Real Art Form

With the amount of T20 competitions being played around the world from World Cups, IPL, Big Bash and the new developments of the Hundred in England and now various countries developing their own franchise tournaments. The opportunities for players to showcase their skills is phenomenal.

With all the big hitting batters getting 90% of the attention throughout for their boundary hitting and inventive shots. Where is the appreciation for the bowlers who have the hardest role?! 

Front line bowlers pretty much bowl their 4 overs in the most challenging stages of the game, from the opening power play to the death overs where batters are looking to launch everything out of the ground.

That’s why bowling at the death really is an art. Not only do you need to have several variations, you need to be able to execute them to perfection as the margin for error is becoming increasingly smaller.


Bowlers really are the underrated/ under-appreciated heroes of the game. Yes we want to see boundaries as spectators but we also want to appreciate and witness the real battle between bat and ball. Nothing beats a real tense period of play!

The real master of death bowling is without a doubt Lasith Malinga. With his unique action providing one challenge to batters but his ability to execute his skills from yorkers to slower balls in the tight stages of the game was outstanding. His ability to deceive a batter was incredible, yes his action was quirky but with the game now full of analysts and video feedback, batters have the opportunity to look for clues in his bowling routine and action to try and pick what’s coming down. This is where he is world class, to have a sustained career in T20 cricket in which he took 390 wickets in 295 career matches – 107 of which came in 84 T20Is - and enjoyed spells in the Big Bash, Caribbean Premier League, T20 Blast and Bangladesh Premier League. However, his greatest success came in the IPL where he made 122 appearances for Mumbai Indians, taking 170 wickets, and won four titles. 

I’m sure we have all seen the video of his 4 wickets in 4 balls against South Africa and New Zealand. Impressive!!

Of the current crop of players there are a very few who have recently become bowling powerhouses of the T20 game. Jasprit Bumrah is probably the closest to the Malinga effect. His pace and varieties frequently getting him wickets but also has established himself as a difficult bowler to score off. Along with Rashid Khan who has rapidly turned himself into a T20 star.


The modern game debate!!

Spin bowlers have now found themselves as very valuable players in T20 cricket. The emergence of players like Rashid Khan, Adil Rashid and Adam Zampa have made leg spinners in particular a golden breed. Their ability to spin the ball whilst bowling flat through the air makes them difficult to hit. Yes they will get blasted out of the ground occasionally but they are always asking the question and creating problems for batter in all conditions. 

Mystery spin is the new king of spin bowling. The ability to turn the ball both ways with very little indication is a real art form. From the master of mystery spin Muralitharan to Sunil Narine and Ravi Ashwin who continue to pick up wickets wherever they play with their doosra and carrom ball. 

Off spinners typically don’t turn the ball as much or have as much of a variation but that doesn’t mean they can’t be effective. If you look in the modern game, Chris Green burst onto the scene for Sydney Thunder many BBL’s ago and has now gone on to represent franchises all over the world. He built his game out around perfecting his plans. He would bowl flat, fast off spin looking to get it in the yorker length from around the wicket targeting the toes of batters. The around the wicket angle mean it’s very hard for batters to score 360 degrees. What Green is looking to do is to reduce the scoring zones, he will stack the leg side and protect the straight and leg side boundary which leads to batters trying to cut and reverse sweep him. But with the pace he bowls it is very hard to sweep and also from the angle is very hard to cut through the off side. This just shows you don’t need all the skills in the world but just the ability to really nail those banker deliveries but also set your field accordingly.

More recently Josh Hazlewood has jumped to the number 1 ranked T20 bowler in the world, which shows that there is no harm in hitting a good length at pace with subtle variations. So remember to nail your stock ball first up and then use those variations on the side when needed.


As I touched on briefly there with Greeny. Not only do bowlers need to execute their skills they also have to set their fields accordingly. Death bowlers in particular are all about restricting boundaries. So knowing where the ball is most likely to go if they nail their delivery is the first part to building that field, also understanding where its most likely to go if you slightly miss your execution. Pair that with also knowing that you may make subtle changes based on the delivery and batsman. Don’t just change your delivery plans and leave the field as it is and hope for the best. This is very common especially in junior cricket where the coach/ captain sets a basic ring field at the start and then doesn’t adjust based on the bowlers style or the batters ability and strengths. So it’s really important to learn and familiarise yourself with the fielding positions as a junior cricketer so you can make those changes with confidence. 

Hence why Eoin Morgan has really taken captaincy to a new level with the England white ball team with his tactical awareness and in more local news maybe why Aaron Finch hasn’t been dropped from the Australia side with his current spell of poor form…..? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist opening that can of worms!)

The modern pace option is now the wide yorker, trying to hit the off side wide line. Most of the batsmen look to slog at the death overs and having to reach way outside the off stump reduces the chances of a solid connection. Also, if the batsman moves towards the off-side as the ball is delivered, and misses a ball bowled outside of the wide line, it shall not be called a wide. This forces batters into playing it or run the risk of leaving it and not getting the extra.

Not knowing the rule or mainly forgetting it in the heat of the game, sometimes batsmen would shuffle across and leave a wide delivery hoping to get an extra only to be disappointed. What are the chances of batsmen leaving a full swinging yorker on the middle stump? The art of death bowling perhaps has a new face…..?


So as young bowlers, ACI certainly recommend to really challenge yourself to learn and develop new skills. The nets are the perfect time to practise your back of the hand slower ball or your googly as its how we learn and develop those skills. So have fun with it, then when you feel comfortable you can bring it out in a game and deceive batters and be the hero of the game! But at the same time don’t neglect the basics! 

Hopefully we can help develop the next round of future death bowling stars and encourage players to take the bull by the horns and want to be the player the team turns to in the tough situations! Have fun experimenting and good luck for the season!!


Author: Dan Miles

NSW Programs Manager

It was great to have our first contact of the year with Hampton Junior Cricket Club in Victoria!


Coming on as one of our Club Assist partners after a successful relationship last year the ACI kickstarted their season with a 3 day skill development camp for their junior members.


With a whopping 26 or more junior teams, running a club just from volunteers can be a mammoth task and that's why we are extremely keen and excited to formalise this relationship for season 22/23 and hopefully beyond.


The 3 days saw over 80 young and enthusiastic cricketers kicking off their season down at their cricket club learning some critical skills that will put them in good stead for a successful season.

Over the season Hampton CC will have support with their volunteer coaches being provided with access to their own age specific coach assist platform. This app developed by the Australian Cricket Institute provides their coaches with done for them, 16 week 1 - 1.5 hour sessions all planned out ready to go. Accompanied by a session plan ready to download to their phone and every single drill supported with video examples of drills and activities ensuring that all volunteer coaches no matter how experienced they may be the support and inspiration to be able to provide fun and engaging sessions for these young players all season long.


We are looking forward to a wonderful and successful season with Hampton CC and are already planning the Dec/January holiday period for our clinics which will see Hampton CC in full flight again.


The Ultimate Guide to Saving Runs as a Fielder 


The fast paced nature of T20 cricket has been the catalyst for some seriously exciting cricket, however one area of the game that is often under appreciated is the importance of quality fielding. I want you to think of a player that comes to mind when you think of the best fielder in the game, who is it? What do they do well? How do they do these things? In this blog I will be dissecting a certain fielder who I believe epitomises a great fielder and looking into what traits you can emulate to take your fielding to the next level.

That fielder is… Glen Maxwell. 

Glen Maxwell is a superstar in every area of the game, and his impact in the field is just one reason he is seen as the complete T20 cricketer. Here are 4 things that Glen does in the field that make him an absolute superstar…. 

1. Anticipation 

Maxy is by far one of the best backward point (and everywhere else) fielders in the world, with his ability to anticipate what shot the batter is going to play being a key factor in this. Anticipation is the ability to take small ques from something and understand what is going to happen before it is going to happen. It requires a deep level of focus and understanding of the situation which in return allows you to make quick and game changing decisions. 

Some examples of these cues are movements form a batsman such as: 

  • Are they loading up with a big backswing or is it short? 
  • Are they moving a certain way on the crease to access different shots? 
  • Are they opening or closing their bat face? 

These are physical cues that are clearly visible, however there are also some theoretical cues that can help in decided what a batsman is trying to do such as: 

  • What stage of the game are we in? 
  • Where am I fielding and what way are they likely to hit it?
  • What are the batsman's strengths? 
  • Where have they hit the ball previously? 
  • Is there a weakness in the field they might be looking to exploit? 

As you start to develop your understanding of these cues, it becomes much easier to adapt instantly and in return, get to the ball quicker. By getting to the ball quicker or reacting to a ball in the air faster, you will ultimately be at a much greater chance of stopping a run, getting that run out or taking that catch! These can often be game defining moments and moments that Glen Maxwell pulls off more consistently than anyone else. 

2. Find your Right Fielding Position

Maxy is a gun fielder, and with this comes the responsibility of finding himself in hot spots at all times. Hot spots are areas in which see the most traffic, or are possibly the hardest to field at. Think backward point, long on, big boundaries & key strength areas for batsman… 

It is important to remember that T20 is a game of fine margins, and having the right people in the right positions, at the right time can make all the difference to the result of the game. Think about it like this, if your worst fielder is seeing the most amount of traffic, they are going to make more mistakes and ultimately cost runs. What is important here is that you are able to realistically and thoughtfully identify your strengths and weaknesses, and communicate these with your captain in order to get yourself in the best position possible, even if this is fine leg to fine leg! 

Some examples of fielding traits that are aligned with certain positions are: 

High traffic outfield areas for catches and ground fielding (long on, long off, cow corner, deep square)

  • Strong arm 
  • Fast across the ground 
  • Good hands 
  • Good anticipation 

High traffic infield areas for catches and ground balls (cover, point, mid wicket) 

  • Great anticipation 
  • Good catching 
  • Good reactions
  • Good agility 

This season we have launched a brand new T20 training program aimed at allowing players to focus on developing the specific skills required for white ball cricket, for any players or parents interested, click the banner below.

3. Do the Miles - Get the Smiles 

A saying not often associated with cricket, however extremely relevant when talking about being a great fielder. I would love to have a tracker on Glen Maxwell and see exactly how many kilometres he runs during a 20 over stint in the field… It would be huge! 

There are 2 parts to this, the first is the kilometres he would be doing to get himself into the right position. We often see amateur cricket players who take the easy option and don’t move themselves into the correct position after each over as it is ‘too hard’, however this can have large ramifications on the team. Maxy will often have to run from one end of the field to the other, just to get himself into hotspots as frequently as possible. While this effort area does sound simple enough, it requires extra fitness and great awareness to achieve however is one all aspiring T20 cricketers should do.

The second part refers to a player moving every single ball. You may have heard the saying ‘everyone moving in the field’, as this is an extremely crucial aspect of fielding in T20 cricket. Even if a player is on the other side of the boundary to where the ball was hit, they must run up to the 30 yard circle to ensure no overthrows are possible. This must become instinctive in players as without that instinct it is far too easy to simply forget. In addition to this, it creates a certain ‘buzz’ in the field which will only lift your team up. 

4. Throw the Ball Into the Ground from the Outfield 

The final 1%er you will often see Glen do is throwing the ball into the keeper or bowler with a bounce from the boundary. The first thing this does is allow in general for a more accurate throw, where if done correctly, skids on at a top of the stumps height making it much easier for the fielder over the stumps to take. The second thing this does is legally softens up the ball. As the ball gets softer, it becomes more challenging for the batter to connect cleanly with, which could ultimately be the difference between a boundary and a wicket. While this is a great tactic and should be applied where possible, it is important to remember that you are only allowed 1 bounce to the keeper and it must be thrown from outside the 30 yard circle… 

I hope you can take some of these tips into your next T20 match, and make sure you have a look at just what Maxy is doing in the field next time you’re watching the big bash of an Australia game! 

Author: Josh Matthews

QLD Coach & Programs Manager


The ICC T20 World Cup is just over a month away and will bring 16 nations to 7 Australian cities to battle it out.  So, I thought we could look in to the tips and tactics players use to score more runs at a higher strike rate in the 20 over format.



Mindset....... a positive attitude.   Players are thinking of connecting every ball and looking to score at least a single.  After the first 6 overs are completed and the field spreads it's key to make contact with every ball and run.  Which brings me to my next point.


Aggressive running between wickets will create runs.  Non strikers need to back up hard and be ready to run, looking to turn ones in to twos and put the pressure back on the fieldsman.


Spin is a weapon in T20 cricket, think of the Big Bash and the IPL an the spinners are key to build pressure and brining a false shot from batsmen.   When the ball is tossed up above the eye line, look to advance meet the ball on the full or half volley.   Or get deep in your crease to shorter balls and access gaps in field where the players are protecting the boundary.


Where you set up can influence accessing different areas of the ground.   You could be taking a different guard to normal eg. off or leg stump.  You could start out of, or deep in your crease, or look to move around as the bowler releases the ball.  This can be help to adapt to different conditions and/or counteract a bowler's plan early in an innings.


Start your innings with more orthodox shots presenting the full face of the bat.    As mentioned, looking to make contact every ball.   There is no need to be too expansive or 'cute' early on.   Reverses, ramps and switch hits are all high risk shots and are going to be easy to execute when you are 'in', as opposed to early in your innings.   Same can be said for your big shots.    When you are in and you do commit to the high risk shots, make sure they result in a boundary or a six.


A progression from moving around in the crease is to clear your front leg.   This can allow a batsmen to bring the bat through on an arc that is very straight if full, but also leaving the option of shifting your weight back and executing cut or pull shots.


MAXIMUMS!  The ultimate way to escalate the run rate.  Key here is practice, you can't expect to clear the fence if you don't practice it at training.   Another important point is to know your zones, some are betting lofting drives back down the ground while others find it easier to get under a pull shot for maximum distance.

So there you go, a number of ways you can look to score in your next T20 match!  Good luck!


Author:  Darryn Smith