La Manga Club Performance Centre Has Cricket World in a Spin
La Manga Club has been hailed as a “must-visit” warm-weather training camp destination for cricket counties and international teams following a winter of unprecedented success for the Spanish resort.
Regarded as Spain’s home of cricket, the luxury sports and leisure venue has taken its reputation to new heights in 2019, with more than 100 groups of all levels from across the UK and Europe flocking to Murcia to take advantage of its European Cricket Performance Centre – including six new grass pitches.
Overseen by new groundsman Stuart Antell, Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Glamorgan and Gloucestershire became the first counties to use the wickets in March when they played a series of one-day practice matches against each other in the build-up to the season.
Middlesex also made full use of the facilities during pre-season, sending a squad of senior and academy players including England stars Steven Finn and Toby Roland-Jones for nine days’ intensive training at the resort, while the spotlight will again fall on La Manga Club in July when it has the honour of hosting the inaugural European Cricket League.
Hampshire and England leg spinner Mason Crane said: “It was great to get away and run around. You can do lots more fielding here and bowlers can come off their full run-ups. It was really nice to come away and get everyone together. It was great.”
Teammate Chris Wood added: “The weather out at La Manga Club is a massive help. It was good to get outside and great to get all the lads around to get the team morale up. It’s always good to get away before the start of the season.”
Middlesex coach Alan Coleman said: “Our trip to La Manga Club offered us a great opportunity to help our preparation for the 2019 season. The warm weather, access to good practice and match facilities, as well as the fantastic gym and pool areas enabled us to train thoroughly at an intense level. Thanks to everyone at the resort for making it a great experience.”
La Manga Club features an outstanding range of first-class cricket facilities ideal for hosting teams and staging tournaments, with its European Cricket Performance Centre having been designed to help international teams, counties, schools and colleges, as well as assisting with the development of players and coaches.
Its extensive facilities include six first-class grass pitches and two artificial wickets on two existing grounds, plus 23 grass and five artificial net lanes – all with 25-yard run-ups. In addition, there are also specialist grass fielding, catching and wicket-keeping areas.
Cricket Ireland, Cricket Scotland and the Netherlands senior team are among the other sides to have visited La Manga Club for warm-weather training camps over the last few months, while Glamorgan head coach and ex-England batsman Matthew Maynard strengthened his long-term association with the venue by becoming a resort ambassador.
Shane Burger, recently appointed as Cricket Scotland head coach, said: “The opportunity to train in good weather and world class facilities will definitely provide Cricket Scotland with a feeling of being ahead of where we wanted to be at this stage of the season in our preparation. La Manga Club is a great place to focus on achieving clear training goals.”
The official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association, La Manga Club’s other facilities include three 18-hole golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm Wellness Centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and more than 15 bars and restaurants.
© Cricket World 2019