Former Australia batsman, and current ICC match referee, David Boon has provided an unprecedented insight into the mindset and technique of the close-in fielder, teaming up with Shane Warne for a short-leg masterclass.
Airing on the UK’s Sky Sports during the day-five lunch break of the third Test between England and India, the lesson covered positioning, anticipation and, most importantly, ducking for cover.
“The real key is that you’ve got to want to be there,” Boon told Sky commentator and former England cricketer Ian Ward.
“There’s no point coming here (in close) if you’re going to be scared.
“I think really, if you’ve got good technique and you’ve practiced hard, the times you’re going to get hit are going to be really quite rare.”
Boon and Warne formed a hugely successful partnership during their 44 Tests together, combining for 11 dismissals, the equal-eighth most successful pairing for a non-wicket-keeping fielder and Australia’s all-time leading Test wicket taker.
That statistic is made all the more remarkable considering the top three on the list, Mark Taylor (51 dismissals), Mark Waugh and Matthew Hayden (39 apiece) spent a large majority of their time fielding at first slip to Warne.
Boon the match official has courted considerable controversy during the ongoing Test series between England and India, rating the Trent Bridge pitch that hosted the first Test ‘poor’ and bringing charges against Ravindra Jadeja and James Anderson following a heated post-play clash.