The Process To Win

With Former New Zealand international and now Glamorgan head coach Grant Bradburn

One win, one loss, twelve draws.

Those were the results behind Glamorgan’s fifth place finish in the County Championship Division Two last season, statistics which new head coach Grant Bradburn is out to change.

“We’re very confident in playing the game to win and sometimes that means risking losing,” says Bradburn.

“In the championship it doesn’t matter how many games we lose this season, it’s how many we win!”

Bradburn has the pedigree, having coached Scotland to an first win over England in an ODI in 2018, before becoming Pakistan’s fielding coach and then their head coach.

Of course, the Welsh weather will have its part to play as it did last season, the only surprise from our meeting is that the sun is finally shining at Sophia Gardens. But additional to the weather has been Glamorgan’s struggles to consistently take wickets.

“It’s very clear that we bat well and have been for a number of seasons,” says Bradburn.

“We bat at a good clip and there are a number of individuals putting forward a good weight of runs. But we haven’t been taking wickets and that’s one focus area for me.

“It’s a simple game, and there’s no excuse for the controllables of fitness and fielding and that’s something I pride myself on and my squad know I mean business around that.

“It’s about getting 20 wickets in the longer format, and we will set up our team to do that and rely on our batsman, if that means going in with one less batsman but with a properly balanced team, clearly intending to take wickets then that’s what we’ll do.

“With Pakistan, we’d pick the five best bowlers to take wickets and then build a team around that, that’ll be one shift in our philosophy that I think it will make a significant difference in us winning games of cricket.”

In the off-season, Glamorgan have strengthened their bowling attack by bringing left-arm seamer and Pakistan international Mir Hamza along with leg-spinner Mason Crane.

“I’m really happy to have Mir Hamza come and join us,” says Bradburn.

“Mir’s a wonderful human being, and an incredibly skilful cricketer, he’s not going to blow anyone away with pace like Waqar Younis would have in his day here.

“But Mir is impressive with his skills and he’s a resilient player, he’s got every ability to succeed here, with over 400 wickets already in first class cricket, many of those on a docile pitch in Karachi!

“Mason Crane adds a lot, it’s a skillset we haven’t had but also his attitude and the way he’s come here, and we believe this environment could turn things around for him and take him to new levels and at the same time that takes us to new levels as well.”

So, with the signings sorted, the captains – Kiran Carlson and Sam Northeast in place, the only question to ask is what style of cricket will they be playing?

“As a young coach I worked hard to think I had a philosophy, but now I don’t have one,” quips Bradburn.

“If there’s one philosophy I have then perhaps it’d be continual improvement. I believe in Kaizen, not doing the same stuff and expecting a different result.

“If you prepare by doing things you know your opposition won’t do, then it lines you up to have that edge and we’ve got that edge now.

“We now have a simple one-page winning process for all three formats and I’m not comfortable with us being in division two.”

The heading of that plan is to win the County Championship division one. With the team currently in the second division that may seem a long way off, but Bradburn feels the club needs to push themselves to get where they want to be,

“We’ve got a mentality to put ourselves in contention to win all three formats of the game this year,” says Bradburn.

“To be honest, that’s not the sense I got from people within the club in general, players and staff, there’s been a bit of comfort of being in division two and acceptance of where we are.

“That leads to blame and complain about what we’re missing in terms of facilities, funding, or players.

“If we’re not at the sharp end we can’t win it. This club has been so successful over the years, with a wonderful history and we would love nothing more than to be a winning chapter in the history of Glamorgan cricket.”