More than 70 juniors, coaches and senior players flooded the Reid Oval nets in Warrnambool on Monday night for a spin clinic with former Australian leg-spinner Bryce McGain.
The Victorian, who played one Test for Australia, enlightened participants on the finer points of bowling spin.
Stephen Field, Western Waves’ regional cricket manager, said the number of participants stumped him and McGain.
“That would be the biggest attendance we’ve ever had,” Field said.
“There would have been close to 50 kids there.”
Field said spin bowling’s popularity was growing.
“Nearly half the group was off-spinners,” he said.
“A lot of them were talking about Nathan Lyon. He might not have the personality of Warney but obviously he’s very popular.”
Field said Australia’s Ashes victory and popularity of free-to-air T20 cricket was fuelling the interest.
“There is a genuine enthusiasm that hasn’t been around for years.”
He said McGain had a rare ability to spruik the game. “He’s probably the premier speaker when it comes to things like this. His passion for the game, the excitement, enthusiasm and passion. He keeps it in a very simple, easy way to understand. He takes away all the myths.”
The clinic is an initiative by Cricket Victoria to take an expert to the region. Last year former South Australian wicketkeeper Graham Manou ran a session at Terang.