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Japan U-19 National Academy Squad trials 2021 a review

The Japan U-19 cricket National Academy Squad 2021 trials!  That was another exciting day for me.  Once again, I went to Sano International Cricket Ground.  The last time I was there was to photograph the women.  Again, I got some good photos.

front foot cricket drive

The boys wanted to appear in the Under 19 World Cup.  But, to do that, they needed to get into the National Academy Squad.  It was their day to prove how good they were.

missed cut shot at U-19 National Academy Squad trials

Head Selector Simon Dart and Head Coach Dhugal Bedingfield were ready for them.  As with the women’s trials, they put the boys through fitness and skills tests.  Japan mightn’t have a long association with cricket, but these kids knew what they were doing.


Some of the pace bowlers looked very impressive.  They bowled with good speed.  A few displayed lovely control, making the ball move off the pitch or through the air.   

Japanese pace bowler

Spinners were there too.  Seeing leg-spin bowled made me quite happy.  The wicketkeeper pulled off a couple of good stumpings.

The batting was excellent.  The boys could play all the shots.  You could see the national love of baseball influenced a couple of them.  But, in the T20 version of the game, that mightn’t be a handicap at all!  Anyway, they were young and wanted to learn more from Simon and Dhugal.

batter bowled at U-19 cricket National Academy Squad trials

My thoughts about these U-19 National Academy Squad photos

Camera:  Fujifilm X-T3

Lens:  Fujifilm 100-400 mm

These photographs made me very happy.  They show some excellent action and a very clean.  By clean, I mean there are few distractions in the background.

spin bowler at U-19 National Academy Squad 2021 trials

If I could retake these photos, I would change one thing.  Many of the players were in the shade.  The sun was behind them.  Yes, I made one big mistake!

I should have been on the other side of the pitch.  If I had done that, the sun would have lit them beautifully.  Unfortunately, there were some time constraints and things were done differently that day.

batsman hits ball at U-19 cricket National Academy Squad

If I had had half a brain, I should have asked for some changes.  Photographing from the other side would have been so much better.  A missed opportunity to say the least!  I’ll know better next time.  If conditions don’t suit us, we need to make changes.

cross bat shot at U-19 National Academy Squad 2021 trials

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Anyway, I enjoyed my time photographing the boys.  I most sincerely wish them the best of luck.  It will be an excellent thing for Japanese cricket if they achieve their aims.  If you have questions or comments, please leave them below.

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  1. Pingback: Photos of a 2021 Japanese Women’s All-Star cricket game - Tokyo in Pics

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