Middlesex CCC: New head coach Stuart Law issues rallying cry for success as he says: ‘I want to add steel to our skill’
PUBLISHED: 16:22 16 January 2019
Stuart Law has been speaking to the Islington Gazette after being appointed Middlesex County Cricket Club head coach. Read on for what he told cricket reporter Layth Yousif.
Australian Law, 50, rightly earned a reputation as a teak-tough cricketer as a prolific batsman and has wasted no time in issuing a rallying cry to his charges at Lord’s.
With the Seaxes underperforming over the last two summers with a dismal relegation from the top tier in 2017 and a failure to conduct a serious promotion challenge from Division Two Law has been tasked with bringing mental toughness and a steely edge to a talented if inconsistent squad.
Queenslander Law, who played a single Test for Australia at the height of their powers, stepping in for the legendary Steve Waugh and scoring an unbeaten half-century and then never being picked again – leaving him with the rare feat of being a Baggy Green without a Test average is determined to restore Middlesex to their rightful place at the top table of English domestic cricket.
He told the Gazette at Lord’s on Wednesday afternoon: “I don’t know what’s gone before me being an outsider but I’ll bring fresh ideas. Those who know me from my playing days will know what I was like as a player.
“I’ve softened considerably. I think being a father helps mellow you as does working in different cultures. You learn how to treat people.
“What I try and achieve with the roles I come into is communication. I want it to be well and truly open – between me and the players and the bosses so as long as we’ve got an open line of communication we all know where we stand and that will mean the team is happy.
“Of course there will be disappointments along the way but as long as the reasons are communicated properly then I think there shouldn’t be too many issues.”
With many of the Middlesex squad also playing a large part in helping the club to win the County Championship in 2016 after a thrilling final-ball victory over title rivals Yorkshire on a never-to-be-forgotten late September’s evening at a packed Lord’s, Law wants to instil a will-to-win which allied with the natural ability of the team can propel the Seaxes to Division One.
The county fell short of promotion, ending last term in a distant fourth place behind Division Two champions Warwickshire, despite beating them in a thrillingly close contest in late July, further emphasising the quality the squad undoubtedly possesses.
Ruthless Law aims to add consistency and steel to the side, adding: “I was a tough player mentally, I was a tough player verbally. Hopefully an ounce of toughness will rub off into the dressing room.
“I’ve just watched the players train. The skill levels are phenomenal, fantastic.
“If we can just add a bit of steel to the skill levels I think you’ve got a pretty good package. It’s about being open and honest, having that hard edge but delivered with a softer touch.”
Law also confirmed he would be looking to bring in a specialist fielding coach to aid his bid for success.
He said: “I’ve got a batting background so I can shoulder most of the batting workload but we are looking to gain the services of a specific specialist coach.
“The one area I really want to target is fielding. As I’ve seen the skill level with bat and ball is pretty good but fielding is one area where every team can improve.
“I’ve got few guys in the pipeline and hopefully discussions are progressing with those in question – but yes there will be assistance arriving, yes.”
Follow Middlesex CCC reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29 for the latest on the club ahead of the new season this spring.