Bracewell applauds vision of Morris

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The Independent Online

New Zealand's coach, John Bracewell, predicted a bright future for English cricket yesterday even though Michael Vaughan's side will be mere spectators for Saturday's NatWest Series final.

New Zealand's coach, John Bracewell, predicted a bright future for English cricket yesterday even though Michael Vaughan's side will be mere spectators for Saturday's NatWest Series final.

Bracewell is confident that the various structures put in place by the England and Wales Cricket Board's performance director, Hugh Morris, are bearing fruit, with county cricket now an ideal learning ground for players before they make the step up with England.

"English cricket has lost that softness and is a very competitive place, and I'd have no hesitation in sending some of our lads over here to gain experience of it," Bracewell said. "They would be well catered for in terms of the professionalism and the competitiveness, and the experience they would pick up would be invaluable.

"In the past you might have thought: 'What are they going to learn?' Now I believe they would learn a lot from a stint in England.

"Hugh Morris deserves a lot of credit for a lot of things he has put into place, and now the desire to play for England is there and players mean it when they say it. When I came over here, most players had no real desire to play for England.

"The National Academy, the academies at counties, the new coaching structure, the greater professionalism within the coaches themselves are all a benefit," Bracewell added.

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