The Afghanistan Cricket Board announced this week the appointment of former Papua New Guinea National Coach, Peter Anderson, as the new Afghanistan National Cricket Academy Coach.
Anderson's has been Papua New Guinea National Coach for the past 2 years. His position at CPNG saw him oversee the development of the U17, U19 and both Women’s and Men’s National teams. Anderson has been accredited Cricket Australia High Performance coach since 1987. In that period he has worked as development office in Queensland and South Australian Cricket Association. Anderson has held many A Club coaching position and State Under age teams over the past 30 years.
His own cricket first class career as a wicket Keeper/ Batsman spanned eight years from 1986 to 1993 represent both Queensland and South Australia. He played 56 first Class games 20 A listed games and Captain Queensland’s A team for 4 years. He is still plays A Grade cricket and at present oversees coaching at Craig McDermott Academy, whilst Craig is on duty with Australian Team in South Africa. He departs to Kabul in mid - April.
Anderson was recognized for raising PNG performance ranking from 19th to 16th in the world under his two year tender as National Coach. PNG finished fourth in recently concluded WCQ in NZ. In doing so PNG has gained ODI status and ICC High Performance funding for the next 4 years. During his time PNG maintain their number 1 ranking in the EAP region by winning all their regional tournaments. International victories against Ireland, Netherlands, Kenya and Namibia during WCQ tournaments recently were also an inspiring achievement by PNG. Last December PNG became the first Country to be invited play in an Australian Domestic cricket competition the SAPL. PNG went on to become the inaugural winners of the South Australian T20 Premier League.
Anderson says, was one of the highlights of his role as PNG coach, was the achievement of IDO status and ICC high Performance funding. ‘’The players worked very hard and they deserve their success. Getting the players to believe in themselves and their ability is what I am most proud of,” Anderson said.
What do you see as the role of a coach and in particular the role of the Coach of the National Cricket Academy?
Mainly setting up a structure, so the Academy becomes an important part of the cricket pathway in Afghanistan, form school cricket, U19, A Team all the way to the National team. The Academy Coach can fill many roles e.g. Coaching coaches’, talent ID, improving specific skills, cricket awareness and assisting teams in preparation for tournaments.
And how are you specifically suited to that role?
I have a very good understanding of what is required to build structures. The Australian system which I came through as player and later as a coach has been a successful system, which a lot of countries have adopted as a blue print. I feel I can work well with all departments of the ACB having been involved as a National Coach of PNG. I understand the challengers Afghanistan and countries like PNG have at being Associate Country as they strive for international recognition.
You have coached in PNG and in the ICC Pacific Region. How would you compare being a foreign coach to a local person from the same country?
It is important you quickly get immense in the local culture so you can understand some of the challengers there are. It can be a just a simple thing as players just getting to training sessions. This way you gain respect of the players and local coaches. In the Associate countries there is a lot of natural talent and but it’s important you don’t over coach, keep it simple. But if you can bring structure and pathways to guide that natural talent you will achieve more consistence performance. Playing good consistent cricket, therein lays the biggest challenge for Associate countries.
Do you have any other thoughts about heading into this new role?
Yes, very excited to be involved in helping ACB on its journey to full Test status .Afghanistan have some of most talent naturally gifted players in the World. I have followed the National Team success from a far. They are not that far away from breaking into the top 10 playing countries. Hopefully, I can help the players and coaches achieve their goals of more consistence cricket performances across all specific skills of cricket through my role as National Academy Coach.