In the Media

CATCHING UP WITH – JAMES PAMMENT

There are few people that know that Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui as well and intimately as former ND and Bay of Plenty Coach James Pamment.

The hard hitting former Auckland, Northern Districts, Bay of Plenty and Mount Maunganui CC batsman, has seen the Bay Oval develop from little more than a Blake Park wasteland, into one of the country’s premier cricket grounds since the first sod was turned in 2005.

On Sunday 12th May 2019, James cricket coaching journey reached another exceedingly high moment, when he was part of the Mumbai Indians coaching unit that beat the Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 Indian Premier League Final.

James road to the IPL title decider saw him make an indelible mark as the Bay of Plenty senior men’s team coach in his four seasons in charge. The Bay First XI’s coached by James,  achieved remarkable success winning the ND premier prize of the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl three times and adding the Brian Dunning one-day trophy in the 2009/10 season.

James continued his cricket coaching journey, with a very successful four-year stint as Head Coach of the Northern Knights, winning the NZ Cricket Twenty 20 title in his first year in charge of the Knights

Tell us about your Coaching Role with the Mumbai Indians
My official title is Fielding Coach, with responsibility for collective and individual fielding development and plans, I also am responsible for the development of the teams running between the wickets. Being an experienced coach I try and add as much value to the coaching group as possible with planning and strategy. Mumbai Indians have a very good support crew, 15 strong, headed up by Mahela Jayawardene (Head Coach) Zaheer Khan (Director of Cricket) and Shane Bond (Bowling Coach). Sachin Tendulkar (Icon) is also around quite a bit so it’s a great group of cricket minds to be a part of.

How and when did your Involvement with the Team come about?
I met the Management of Mumbai Indians in 2014, when the ND Knights represented New Zealand at the Champions League T/20 Qualifying Tournament in Raipur India. John Wright was the Mumbai Indians Head Coach and I had worked with John at NZ Cricket in a couple of roles, as Network Coach and Black Caps Assistant Coach. The Mumbai Management really enjoyed the way we played our cricket at that tournament, we won all three games in qualifying first and I guess from my point of view the boys fielded with great energy, enthusiasm and skill. When Jonty Rhodes advised Mumbai that he wasn’t returning for 2018, I was contacted by Mumbai and asked to go and meet the Management in Mumbai. I presented my thoughts on what I felt I could bring to their environment and from there I was offered the opportunity to join them for the 2018 and 2019 IPL seasons, plus some extra work in the development space.

Tell us about the tension of the Title Decider and especially the tension of the last over
The game itself was really interesting. Having already beaten Chennai Super Kings  three times during the campaign, I was very confident that we had every base covered and would beat them again in the final. CSK have some fantastic players, most of whom are very experienced but they had to take a tough path to the final and the wicket that they had played their home fixtures on, had impacted on the form of some of their players. Once the game got underway, I always felt that mentally they were one step ahead of us until we ran out MS Dohni. Not sure how and why we let them back into the game, but some poor bowling, some incredible striking of the ball and the odd mistake in the field, dictated that the game went down to the last over.

At the start of the over we felt we needed to take at least one, maybe two wickets, to keep CSK at bay,  preferably Watson. Malinga who had got his plan wrong in the previous over that he bowled, executed his Yorkers with outstanding accuracy. The run out of Watson was massive for us, with Jadeja at the non-strikers end it was a surprise to see Watson almost sacrificed in that manner. Regardless it was an outstanding return from Krunal Pandya to give De Kock a chance to get the run out. Thaker, the batsmen who came in with two balls to go can strike the ball and he prefers pace on, so to have the bravery to deliver a slower ball Yorker was incredible from Malinga. Fortunately he nailed it and we’d won by one. The surprise initially and then the joy on the faces of the Management and players around the dugout, told a story. We were delighted to win but knew we had been fortunate.

Tell us about the Euphoria of Victory
Mumbai Indians have won three IPL titles prior to this and their last one in 2017 was also won on the last ball, so I guess it was de-ja-vue for some of the playing and management staff. Everybody was obviously overjoyed initially and I could sense the shock in some, that we had pulled it off, when it looked like Watson was going to take it away from us. Obviously the scenes on the ground after the game and then into the dressing rooms, were full of jubilation and satisfaction. We stayed at the ground until around 2am, just soaking in the win in a relaxed manner. The owners gave a very passionate speech about the achievements that the squad had delivered over the season culminating in the Final win. There was a big party back at the team hotel that ran into breakfast being served!

We flew back to Mumbai from Hyderabad at around 4pm arriving back to a big crowd of passionate fans at the airport. Once we had got on the bus in Mumbai, we were driven to the owners home for a short reception prior to undertaking an open top bus trip from their home to our hotel base at the Trident. For me, that was the highlight post winning the game. It was amazing just how many people came out to acknowledge and share in the celebrations. It was chaotic at times but really enjoyable for all involved. Mumbai does have passionate support and it was nice to share the teams victory with them.

What does the IPL title mean to you personally?
From a coaching point of view, when you win a competition it is validation for all the hard work that you have put in through a campaign, the hours you spend planning and strategizing, the balls you hit and throw to the players, the conversations you have with players and the sacrifices you and the ones close to you make, in order to allow you to take up these privileged positions. The stars always have to align as well in order for you to win, so I feel very lucky to have been afforded the opportunity to work with an excellent management crew. I got to coach a great group of committed players and played a small part in winning a very prestigious competition.

Who are the other Kiwis associated with the team during the current IPL season
Shane Bond  our Bowling Coach and Mitchell McClenghan

Where to from here for James Pamment in the next twelve months.
Initially, I will be having a break and completing the renovations on my home in Papamoa and my wife deserves a holiday somewhere warm!

I am still employed by Mumbai Indians until the end of the current year. Hopefully, over the past two years, I have done a good enough job to be offered the opportunity to return in 2019 and beyond, time will tell.

I’ll be coaching a few of the promising young and not so young players around the Bay region like I did last year and hopefully like last season, I can contribute in some capacity to the  New Zealand U19, New Zealand  A and the Black Caps  programmes in some capacity.
 

 

 

 

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