Prabath Nissanka – Head Coach and Fitness Trainer at MCC – Melbourne Cricket Coaching

Prabath Nissanka – Head Coach and Fitness Trainer at MCC

Former International Test and ODI Cricketer

Level 3 High Performance Cricket Coach and Fitness Trainer

As the Head Coach at Melbourne Cricket Coaching, I believe my role extends beyond simply teaching players how to bat, bowl and field. While the foundation skills are important, coaching is also about building confidence and shaping children’s and young player’s perception of themselves. The approach a coach takes to correct a technical fault or reinforce a positive behaviour can have a big impact on the development of a young cricketer’s self-esteem. Cricket is a technical game, but it is also a microcosm of life. It develops life skills including concentration, confidence, resilience, how to cope with anxiety plus the importance of hard work and teamwork. As an experienced coach, I also assist with mental preparation, goal setting and teach competition strategies. The coaching role can be complicated and can include instructor, teacher, motivator, disciplinarian, substitute parent, social worker, and friend. I love what I do and I’m passionate about producing great outcomes for the boys and girls, on and off the ground.

I am involved in delivering coaching as part of our development program at the Melbourne Cricket Coaching (MCC).

The MCC is where our next generation of stars begin their journeys, and I’m really enjoying the process of helping them grow into top-level players. I do lot of work at training, as a Club and School coach. During matches I spend most of my time sitting with the youngsters in the stands, educating them on the things I see happening out on the field. I had the best time of my life playing cricket and I want to help the next generation experience that as well. I hope that one day, they can look back on their careers and have the same fond memories that I do.

We’re seeing the rise of the young cricketers in a new generation now, and it’s awesome being a part of that as a coach. The players are building their profiles and bringing even more people into the sport. I feel like I’m watching them building the future of Australian cricket.

As cricket is popular among girls and boys, I still don’t think girl cricketers get enough recognition for the impact they have in the community. Through our inspirational performances, we are showing young girls all around Australia that they have a future in our sport. As I’ve got a little daughter and watching how the MCC girls inspire her is incredible. I don’t think a lot of the players even realise how much of an impact they have.

My coaching career ….

Prior to commencing my career in coaching, I represented the Sri Lankan national cricket team in Test cricket and One Day internationals as the teams Opening fast bowler. I participated in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003 and was awarded the man of the match in one of the games. This award included a spell of 4 wickets for 12 runs which helped Sri Lanka restrict Canada to 36 runs. I’ve also represented the Sri Lankan under -19 team from 1999-2000 and was the opening fast bowler at the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in 2000. The team became runners up in that tournament.  To add to my accomplishments, I was also an active member of the Sri Lankan ‘A’ team and Board XI teams. Once I retired from playing International cricket due to an injury, I shifted my focus to coaching due to the passion and love I have for the game. I have completed all required professional qualification to be a qualified coach. My goal is to always make a difference in a player’s life for him to be able to reach his highest potential.

I’m now Head Coach at Melbourne Cricket Coaching, Bowling Coach at Dandenong Premier Cricket Club and Senior Cricket Coach at Wesley college.

In my early days, I started my coaching career as a Bowling Coach and Fitness Trainer for the Sri Lanka U-19 Cricket Team from 2006 – 2012 which included three U-19 World Cups. I also took on additional duties and was instilled as the Assistant National Bowling Coach and Fitness Trainer of the Sri Lankan National fast bowling squad from 2007 – 2012. Therefore, in my various roles at Sri Lanka Cricket, I was able to gain a lot of knowledge in coaching international players and was lucky to work with highly experienced international cricket coaches. During this period, we were able to get the Sri Lankan team to consistently rank in the top three in all formats of the game. I could say, a huge part of this success was due to us introducing different techniques, tactics, and mental skills to enhance the player’s performance.

I worked as the Assistant coach and fitness trainer for the Team ‘KANDURATA’ in the first installment of the Sri Lankan Premier League in 2011-2012.

In 2010 I managed to complete my level 3 high performance accreditation through cricket Australia. I migrated to Australia in 2012 and was able to qualify myself as a fitness trainer soon after which included a highly regarded certification as a master trainer.

In 2015 I was offered the role of bowling coach and fitness trainer at Casey South Melbourne Premier Cricket Club. It was a remarkable turning point in my coaching career, and I became the Head Coach of the southern pioneers U-18 cricket team. I was able to help and guide young cricketers to improve their skills. In 2017-2019 I took over as the Head coach at Casey South Melbourne Premier Cricket Club. I was able to contribute immensely in developing their cricket structure and improve individual player and match planning.

In 2018, I joined the Cricket Victoria Pace Pack Academy as a Consultant Bowling Coach and assisted young fast bowlers to enhance their bowling skills, bowling plans and technical corrections in their game.

I am the architect behind MCC and have been coaching junior cricket teams, club teams and individuals in primarily the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I have been able to build a reputation as one of the leading coaches in the region with players, schools and clubs who regularly come seeking my guidance.

As a cricket coach, I prefer to normally go against convention, by coaching my players as good people rather than just cricketers and that I see us as a family unit. I also believe that it’s all about improvement and getting the best out of every individual, regardless of results on the field. 

Finally, I would like to pass the following quote onto our young players who play this game;

“Train and aspire to be a complete cricket player. Do not underestimate or undervalue other facets to the game of cricket apart from your core skill or competency. Mental toughness is about, having 100% attention on the ball and that process is critical.  Hence follow the correct process and have a strong and positive mindset.”

Head Coach at MCC