PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC — Pacer Marlon Richards has added a new weapon to his arsenal for the upcoming Professional Cricket League and is hoping to make big impression for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force when the season bowls off in November.
Along with head coach Kelvin Williams, Richards has been honing his skills in order to be more effective in swinging the older ball and believes this part of his game will help improve his wicket-tally during a tough first class campaign.
“Really what I was doing was working with the older ball because everyone knows that I am very strong with the new ball and swing the new ball,” the 27-year-old said.
“To add to my bowling arsenal I am doing more work on getting to move the older ball both ways. That would really help me to get more wickets going forward in the season when the team really needs it.”
Richards was an important member of the Red Force line-up last season, finishing with 15 wickets at an average of 35. He was forced to compete for wickets in a spin-based attack where leg-spinner Imran Khan claimed 44 scalps and off-spinner Jon-Russ Jaggesar, 23.
His best performance was on a slow wicket in Georgetown when he picked up three for 41 to help limit eventual champions Guyana Jaguars to 237 in their first innings.
Richards, who has 27 first class matches to his name, said he was already seeing signs of improvement in his bowling.
“In the first couple balls I got the movement that I really wanted and working with coach Kelvin Williams has really helped me,” he pointed out.
“There are just a few things I need to do and slight adjustments to make. It is not as hard as you may think to get the results that you would want and I just need to continue practising.”
The new PCL season bowls off on November 11 and Red Force are expected shortly to begin their training in earnest for the campaign.
And Richards said it would be important for him to test his new ideas out in practice scenarios as he aimed to improve his skills.
“I will starting using these skills as soon as possible. That is the point of doing it now because I will have enough time and practice games to use everything I have learnt in the pre-season” he said.
“It is a work in progress and I am not at the point I would like right now. My stock ball is OK but there is always room for improvement and that is what I am doing right now.”