Dr Masud Rahman doesn’t like cricket. He loves it. And dedicates several afternoons a week coaching, and his Saturday mornings to umpiring – all to help the next generation of Australia’s cricketers harness their natural talents.
Dr Rahman, a Bangladeshi-Australian, is the founder of the Canberra Cricket Academy (CCA) and lives and breathes the game, running his coaching sessions in Harrison for several hours, four to five nights a week in summer on top of his full time work as an engineer.
He brings an unconventional yet logical approach to his coaching; focusing on the strengths of each player’s natural game, rather than drilling into them the traditional techniques taught out of a textbook.
“The coaching technique in Australia is very classical; if a different player comes in they change their technique and move away from their natural talents on day one,” he said.
“I always say be yourself rather than copying anyone else.”
After struggling to convince the establishment to tailor their coaching methods to working with the quirks in a cricketer’s natural game, Dr Rahman decided to found the Canberra Cricket Academy in 2014.
He also started up CCA so young local boys and girls, particularly those of a Muslim background, could have the opportunity to play cricket.
“They grow better, become better human beings, and get something out of the process behind it, that’s my mission.”
With five girls in his clinic this year, Dr Rahman says there’s a bright future for female cricketers in Australia.
“There’s a brilliant future for the girls … If we can convey to them that there are now plenty of opportunities in cricket, we will soon see numbers (of registered players) similar to the boys.”
Nitya Reddy, a 16-year-old female cricketer participating at CCA spoke to Canberra Weekly at her fifth class.
“I love it and really enjoy it; every day we get so many tips,” she said.
“My main focus is leg spinning. My other coach was making me focus on pace but Masud wanted to focus on my natural strengths, and that was really encouraging.”
For more information on CCA, visit canberracricketacademy.com.au