How to excel with bat and ball in the comfort of the living room

2012-09-27 00:00

CAPE TOWN — It is informative, entertaining, detailed, user-friendly … and doesn’t even require you to sweat it out for hours beneath a hot sun in the nets while a coach barks instructions.

The crisply-presented “How U Excel” is a revolutionary new software programme giving aspirant cricket-lovers — or those who only want to enhance their existing skills — the opportunity to get to grips with various aspects of the game at their own pace and in the comfort of the living room.

Module one is available to the public now (purchase the software by visiting www.howuexcel.com) and focuses specifically on batting.

The next module is under development and will include other specialist areas like bowling and wicketkeeping.

Internet connection is required for the initial activation but once that process has been completed it is no longer necessary.

There is a strong emphasis on video instruction (both high-definition and standard), with strokes explained and demonstrated by a coach with slow-motion, step-by-step text.

Digital features that are likely to appeal especially to younger cricketers, include the presence of animated character “Cricko”.

The installed software is laptop-specific, so not transferable, and also cannot be pirated.

Module one includes such elements as batting strokes, grip, stance, controversial rules (like leg before wicket, and the protected area of the pitch), umpiring signals, running between the wickets and the psychology of batting.

Navigation is made simple through a wagon-wheel that divides up the various categories.

Pleasing diagrammatic “mat” detail guides the user on which stroke to play when the ball pitches in particular places.

Additional features available at www.howuexcel.com include logging of your cricket stats, enabling comparison of performance in age-specific groupings.

The project’s pioneer, long-time cricket-lover Apples Appleton, is also working on a rugby instruction programme for future launch.

It is hoped that How U Excel will soon also be available for purchase at a leading sports warehouse chain.

*The price may vary, but expect to pay about R300.

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