You can all probably think of at least one player you hate having a net with for one reason or another…
Don’t be that person!
This guide will help you become a better teammate in the nets.
1. THROW THE BALL BACK TO THE BOWLER
When a bowler is putting in the effort to bowl to you and give you a quality practice, show them the respect of picking the ball up and throwing it back to them on the full.
It’s so rude and disrespectful to kick or hit the ball back to the bowler along the ground, or worse still, make them come and get it when it’s in your half.
It’s almost like kicking something to your Mums feet when she asks you to pick it up - don’t do it!
2. DON’T ALWAYS TRY TO HIT THE LAST BALL FOR SIX
For some reason I think this is one of the most common habits in cricket.
Batsmen always seem to think the ‘last ball’ call is a signal to tee off and launch the ball as far as you can.
Firstly, what you’re doing here is training your brain to switch off and relax. More often than not you’re finishing your net session either shanking one or getting out.
Secondly, it really annoys bowlers (especially if they have to go and fetch it) and your coach won’t be impressed either.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve been practicing finishing off an innings and power hitting go for it.
But don’t all of a sudden go from tempo one to temp three in one ball.
3. BOWL PROPERLY AT THE END OF THE SESSION
Disclaimer: Bowl properly for the whole sessions - if you’re completely cooked hand the ball to someone else.
You might be tired but make sure you give the last couple of sets of batsmen a quality hit.
They’ve probably put in the effort to give you a good hit. Too many bowlers switch off and muck around at the end of a session (even starting bowling something they don’t usually).
Use the end of a session to practice executing under fatigue. It’ll help you, it’ll help the batsmen and it’ll help your team.
4. DON’T WALK THROUGH THE BOWLERS RUN UP
It amazes me how many people just cut through a bowlers run up without looking.
There is nothing more annoying for a quick than being cut off half way through a run up by a space cadet cruising back to the kit bags.
Have some awareness and walk behind the bowlers run ups.
5. REMEMBER THE BOWLING ORDER
This goes two ways.
Don’t over bowl and don’t under bowl.
Don’t be the player that keeps slotting in out of turn, remember the bowling order and stick to it so everyone gets enough volume in.
Spinners, towards the end of a session or if you’re short on bowlers ask the quicks if they would like you to split them. Meaning you bowl every second ball. This often works well if you’ve got a spinner and two quicks in a net.
6. DON’T BOWL 2FT NO BALLS & EXCESSIVE BOUNCERS
Unless the batsman asks you to bowl over the line to sharpen their reaction time, make sure your foot is behind the line.
It doesn’t help your game either and creates bad habits that will lead into a game.
Bowling the odd bouncer is fine and encouraged (they’re going to get them in a game). But don’t over do it, especially if you’re on concrete.
It’s easy to get carried away on concrete and think you’re quicker than you are.
If you’re bowling excessive bouncers from 2ft over the line the batsman is going to get into bad habits and you’re going to get a false sense of security (and get met on the weekend when you bowl short).
Have a great season in the nets!
Would love to hear what you would add to the “Netiquette” list - drop a comment below or shoot me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Nick Fitzpatrick
Australian Cricket Institute Co Founder & Coach