A classy all-rounder of New South Wales who have played with likes of the Waugh brothers, Michael Bevan, Brett Lee and Michael Clarke – Matthew Betsey is a cricketer turned administrator who is servicing for Cricket Australia in a role of Coach Manager. Started playing cricket at the age of 17, high point of his career includes 1999-2000 season where a string of rollicking performances with Bankstown-Canterbury bestowed him “Player of the Finals”.
Besides a star cricketer of Sydney grade cricket for a number of years, his coaching career started with New South Wales’ Regional Cricket Manager in 2001. In the meantime, he horned himself with Cricket Australia Level 3 accreditation coach. After nourishing administrating skills, Cricket Australia, in 2008, appointed him as Coaching Program Manager of Australia which later promoted with Global management and development of CEP programs.
In a short interview with Monika Arora, he talks about CIA, CEP programs and his journey so far as an administrator. Excerpts…
Monika: Mangalore franchisee has been launched. How’s your experience like?
Betsey: Mangalore is a beautiful place and the people were very welcoming. I was very impressed with the effort Mangala Sports has applied to their partnership with Cricket India Academy and for cricket in Karnataka state.
Monika: CIA tied up with Mangala Sports as their Mangalore Branch representative – what are your expectations with them?
Betsey: Mangala Sports seem to have prepared extremely well in putting together a plan to help develop players including the wonderful new facility at St Aloysius College. The Cricket Education Program will provide the structured programming and coach training to help deliver a successful program.
Monika: Weather here at Mangalore is quite different from that of Sydney. How did you find it? Any difficulty you have faced?
Betsey: It has been very hot and humid which is quite the opposite of Sydney or Melbourne at this time of year. I take every opportunity to cool down and drink lots of water.
Monika: You himself have visited partner venue. Are you satisfied with facilities and accommodation out there?
Betsey: Yes. Any player involved with Mangala Sports will have the opportunity to train and practice their skills in brand new facilities to help them achieve their cricket goals.
Monika: How has been the interaction with academy players and coaches? Any special mention for our Karnataka lads.
Betsey: It was great to meet the coaches and some players. India has some very passionate people when it comes to cricket and Mangalore is no different. I think Karnataka will have some very good left arm spinners for the future!
Monika: What you like most about Mangalore? If you are asked to mention one thing as a Mangalore visit memoir, what would it be?
Betsey: At this time of year, it would have to be the green tropical surrounds but the hospitality of the people was also amazing.
Monika: As Mangalore officially introduced into CIA family yesterday. How will proceedings be deployed afterwards? Any plan or roadmap you would like to share.
Betsey: Cricket Australia is proud to have produced the Cricket Education Program (CEP) and we believe that with the correct planning, programming, infrastructure and trained coaches that players will have the opportunity to reach their potential. Cricket India Academy has some bright plans for the deployment of the CEP across India and there are also plans for CEP to be in a number of other countries as well.
Monika: You have come to India on 10-days short visit with so much work planned on paper. Travelling from one city to another while staying up for office work – How do you manage everything?
Betsey: We have a very busy schedule planned but it is great to see a program like CEP come to fruition in so many cities. I am pleased to visit as many places as possible and whilst I need to keep on top of work in Australia, it is important to take time and meet our partners around the world.
Monika: Next destination is Siliguri. Excited?
Betsey: When I first started playing or working in Cricket, I never thought it would take me to Siliguri! I am very excited to visit such a remote community with the influence of so many nationalities due to its proximity with Nepal (23km), Bangladesh (30km), Bhutan (50km) and China (200km)!
Monika: At last (for now), how’s it going with our CEO Martin? Travelling and inaugurating new franchisees while sharing lots of memories – having fun with Australian mate or it’s just another business trip?
Betsey: It is always good to catch up with Martin and we have shared some great experiences whilst being on the road promoting CEP. Whilst it is another ‘business trip’ it is very good to be working with someone so passionate about cricket and with whom we can enjoy our time together on the road (or on planes and at airports)!