Julien Fountain (born 1970 in Shoreham-by-sea, Sussex) is an English professional cricket coach and former Great Britain Olympic Baseball player. He has coached a wide range of both domestic and international, professional cricket teams including West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh and England as both a Specialist Fielding coach or as a utility / assistant coach.
Fountain was the first baseball player to be used as a "Specialist Fielding Coach" by any test level cricket team when he was hired in 1998 by the West Indies to coach on their tour of South Africa. On the 2000/01 West Indies tour of Australia he took to the field as twelfth man for the West Indies during their fixture against the Prime Ministers eleven at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. He rose to the challenge by running out Anthony McQuire with a direct hit from the boundary In 2008 he was selected to help coach the Stanford Superstars, a privately funded cricket team set up by billionaire cricket enthusiast Allen Stanford, who beat England in a one off T20 game for 20 million US dollars during the Stanford Super Series.
He is a UKCC ECB Level 3 coach and is a T20 specialist, covering "Baseball Style" power batting mechanics, slower balls and elite fielding skills. In 2010, whilst in Bangladesh, Fountain and Ian Pont used their baseball / cricket backgrounds to devise a completely new slower ball called the "Projapoti" or "Butterfly Ball", so called because of the way it behaves in flight. He also launched an elite training program for fielders named S.P.A.C.E, which is an acronym of Safety, Power, Accuracy, Choice, Excellence which are its fundamental principles. In 2010 Fountain trialled his Fielding Analysis Software for the ICC High performance department, and also with Bangladesh. The final product is due to be released before the end of 2011.
During the 2010 ODI Series against Zimbabwe, Fountain was appointed temporary Head Coach status for the 3rd ODI, whilst Jamie Siddons attended the birth of his 2nd child back in Australia. Bangladesh won this ODI. This makes Fountain the first baseball coach to achieve Head Coach status with an ICC full member nation cricket team, as well as being the first baseball coach to instruct an ICC full member nation cricket team, the West Indies, in 1998.Currently he has been appointed again as fielding coach for Pakistan Cricket Team
- 1 Playing career
- 2 Early coaching career
- 3 Test matches, ODIs and international cricket
- 4 From the Caribbean to Karachi
- 5 A learning curve
- 6 New beginnings
- 7 Pro Batter Video Simulator Pitching Machines
- 8 Caribbean calling
- 9 Stanford Superstars
- 10 Life after Stanford
- 11 ICC High Performance Program & Associate Teams
- 12 Bangladesh Cricket Team
- 13 Head Coach Status
- 14 "Direct Hit" Performance Analysis Software System for Fielding
- 15 Projapoti (Butterfly Ball)
- 16 S.P.A.C.E Program
- 17 ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
- 18 Notable series involvements
- 19 Off the field
- 20 External links
- 21 References
Fountain started his cricket career playing for Somerset within their youth development teams, from Under 13 to Under 19. He was selected to play in the Somerset Under 19 team aged only 15. Having played at under 19 level for two seasons and in need of a fresh challenge, he decided to take up baseball, and in 1988 was selected to represent Great Britain U19 in the European Championships in Bordeaux, France, having only been playing baseball for six months. The following year he made his debut for the full Great Britain National Baseball Team aged only 19. He represented Great Britain, as part of the British Olympic Squad in the European Championships in 1989 in Paris, France and in 1991 in Rome, Italy. Fountain represented Great Britain as a pitcher between 1988 and 2002. During this period he also attended several professional tryouts with Major League Baseball teams including the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He approached a number of US universities, with the intention of taking up a partial scholarship, however due to a lack of additional funding, was unable to take up any offers, instead opting to continue playing in the UK whilst attending Thames Valley University in London. Due to university and work commitments, he was unable to continue his Olympic baseball career, but made a brief return in 2002 playing for the British Team in a tournament in Stockholm, Sweden.
Having finished playing youth county cricket in 1987, he returned to cricket in 1996 and has played several seasons of premier league club cricket in various parts of the world, where his fielding expertise has always made him a valuable asset to any team. He continues to combine playing league cricket and hockey with his coaching career, wherever possible.
Early coaching career
Fountain's first entry into cricket coaching took place in 1988, when he was appointed Head of Cricket at Great Ballard School, Eartham, Sussex. In 1996, he was approached by the British Baseball Federation to assist with a cricket course run by the NCA or National Cricket Association which is now known as the England and Wales Cricket Board. It was during this course that he was recognised by local participants as a former Somerset youth cricketer, and was bombarded with questions about how baseball skills transfer into cricket. It was at this time that he met Gordon Lord, a former first class cricketer and national coach who thought that Fountain had a vital contribution to make to cricket. and immediately involved him with the coaching of England youth teams. He became a specialist coach with all the England youth teams and coached players such as Andrew Flintoff, Chris Read, Ben Hollioake, Graeme Swann and Owais Shah. He also coached the England Women's Cricket Team,.
Test matches, ODIs and international cricket
Fountain had hoped to become part of the coaching staff for the full England team, under David Lloyd, however an offer was not forthcoming despite having successfully coached extensively around the First Class County Cricket circuit; so in 1998 when he was approached by the West Indies Cricket Board who hired him to coach The West Indies ‘A’ Team in Antigua, West Indies Cricket Team on their tour of South Africa and the WICB Advanced Course in Trinidad and Tobago, he was ecstatic as this was the level of cricket where he felt most at home. Following this introduction he was retained as part of the West Indies backroom staff. He was labelled as "Essential" by Tony Cozier, a well-respected cricket journalist. He rejoined the senior team in Jamaica for the second Test and achieved fantastic results immediately, culminating in a fantastic series finish in Barbados. It was during this series that he established himself as a leader in his field even claiming to have fixed Courtney Walsh's throwing arm. He accompanied the team to the UK for the Cricket World Cup however the team's performance was unfortunately overshadowed by the sudden illness of head coach, Malcolm Marshall. In 2000 following his successful involvement with the West Indies in the Caribbean and the Cricket World Cup he was appointed to the role of Head Coach at Queens Park Cricket Club in Trinidad and it was whilst performing this role he was again contracted by the WICB to coach the senior West Indies team, for a preparatory camp, in Jamaica before their tour of Australia. This tour was a particularly tough one for the West Indies, where they struggled in most departments, however the fielding continued to improve under the guidance of Fountain. It was during this tour that Fountain had to put his money where his mouth was when, due to a number of injuries, he had to take to the field wearing West Indies maroon as 12th man during the Prime Minister's Xl fixture at the Manuka Oval, Canberra. He rose to the challenge by running out Anthony McGuire with a direct hit from the boundary. He also fielded as a twelfth man for the West Indies against Australia 'A' in Hobart, Tasmania, on the same tour and again in 2007 against the MCC at Durham. Following the tour of Australia, he returned with the team to the Caribbean for the home series against South Africa. This series saw Fountain's involvement diminished despite the benefits which were definitely showing, leading to allegations of underhand treatment.
From the Caribbean to Karachi
After parting company with the West Indies due to contractual difficulties, Fountain was approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board to act as assistant and specialist coach for the Pakistan A cricket team  on their tour of Sri Lanka under Head Coach Mudassar Nazar, an appointment which was seen as "clearly necessary". Upon completing the Sri Lanka tour, Fountain accompanied the team back to Pakistan where he was tasked with holding "Elite Coaching Clinics" at all the major academies including Karachi, Lahore, Peshawer and Rawalpindi. He also attended a week long camp in Karachi under the guidance of Head Coach Richard Pybus with the senior Pakistan National Cricket Team working with the players prior to their upcoming home series. He also held a series of clinics for Pakistan coaches at each of the venues.
Upon returning to the UK, due to his absence from the ECB system, his unofficial role as ECB fielding coach had been filled by various former players including Trevor Penney and Gary Palmer, and consequently he fell out of favour with the governing body. Despite making a huge contribution to the improved way fielding was taught in professional cricket, he was unable to further his coaching career despite achieving all the relevant coaching qualifications and even becoming a tutor on ECB Courses.
A learning curve
In 2002, Fountain took up a pastoral position at Pangbourne College in Berkshire which allowed him to expand his coaching experience in the role of Director of Cricket / Head Coach. Whilst fulfilling this role he also gained valuable experience of Teaching Physical Education and coaching Hockey, gaining more coaching qualifications. During this period he was also recalled to the Great Britain Baseball Team, to add strength and experience to their pitching staff during a qualification tournament in Stockholm, Sweden in 2002.
In 2006, having both grown as a coach and gained valuable youth coaching experience, Fountain was hired by Bob Woolmer to act as "Specialist Fielding Coach" for the Pakistan National Cricket Team on their tour of England. During the tour his role as specialist fielding coach was reduced to allow his input into the team's batting performance. He was used extensively by both junior and senior players such as Inzamam Ul Haq, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Shahid Afridi as a one-to-one batting coach. He was in the Pakistan dressing room at The Oval on that fateful day in August 2006 when the infamous alleged "Ball tampering" incident occurred.
Over the winter of 2006/2007, with this new-found international experience and exposure, Fountain was hired by Peter Moores, the ECB National Academy Director at the time, to work with England 'A' Team players, England youth team players, National Skill Set and Regional Skill Set Players.
In 2007 the West Indies Cricket Team were touring England and the new Head Coach David Moore, on the recommendation of the senior players, requested Fountain's assistance  as a specialist fielding coach for the remainder of the NPower Test Series and the ODI / T20 series. This proved to be a turning point for the team, as at the start of the series the fielding was below standard, however after having spent time reinforcing the skills, the team entered the ODI / T20 series with a new-found enthusiasm for fielding which proved instrumental in the Nat West ODI Series win for the West Indies.
After the Nat West ODI series finished, he returned to the National Cricket Performance Centre, continuing his work with both current and up and coming England Cricketers, culminating in his selection as Head Coach of the England Under 16 for a series against Australia Under 16, which England swept  where he was able to pass on not only the elite fielding skills, but the batting and bowling knowledge he had gained over his extensive international career. This tenure was one of his proudest moments in coaching as not only did England U16 sweep the series against Australia U16, without losing a game, but finally he gained recognition as a coach in his own right capable of coaching all aspects of cricket, not simply fielding. It was also at this time that he achieved another seemingly unattainable milestone by coaching England T20 specialist players at the National Performance Centre, prior to their departure to South Africa for the T20 Cricket World Cup.
Pro Batter Video Simulator Pitching Machines
Whilst at the National Performance Centre in September 2007, Fountain, after a recent research trip to the USA, brought the concept of using the Pro Batter Video Simulator Pitching Machine for cricket to the attention of Peter Moores and David Parsons. He introduced the company, Pro Batter Sports, to the England & Wales Cricket Board and in 2010 Pro Batter completed the installation of two units at the National Performance Centre at Loughborough. Interestingly it was not until Dene Hills, an Australian Cricket Coach, joined the ECB in late 2008, as batting coach, that they finally got in touch with Pro Batter regarding the possibility of using the machines for cricket; something Fountain had identified over a year before.
At the end of 2007 Fountain was contacted by the Stanford T20 Cricket organisation, who had established professional teams in Antigua, Nevis, St Lucia and Anguilla. He spent a few weeks not only assessing and coaching these newly formed professional teams, but conducting a complete audit of each organisation, looking at coaching, facilities, players and every aspect of their day-to-day operations. It was also at this time, and following the guidelines of the McLaurin Report, that England decided that they should hire a full-time fielding coach and despite his long standing involvement with the ECB, going back over 10 years, and his extensive international resume, which at that time had three full international teams and countless worldwide professional teams on it, was pipped to the post by part-time cricket coach, PE Teacher and Director of Sport at Wellington College Richard Halsall who was more familiar to the newly appointed England Head Coach, Peter Moores, due to his link with Sussex County Cricket Club .
The Stanford relationship was to prove crucial, as in 2008 Fountain was again hired by Stanford T20 Cricket, this time to be the official fielding coach for the newly formed Stanford Superstars professional cricket team. The Stanford Superstars were formed with the intention of playing a one off Twenty Million Dollar Game against England at the Stanford Cricket Ground in Antigua on 1 November 2008, which is incidentally, Antigua’s Independence Day. The event became the Stanford Super Series of cricket where Middlesex County Cricket Club from England, along with Trinidad and Tobago national cricket team, both of which had won their respective domestic T20 tournaments, joined England and the Superstars to play in a round robin series of games in Antigua, culminating in the 20 million dollar game against England on 1 Nov. The Superstars beat England convincingly.
As history shows the Stanford Superstars capitalised on their intensive coaching regime under Eldine Baptiste, Roger Harper, Cardigan Connor and Fountain, by winning every game they played that week and receiving 20 million dollars, the biggest winners pay cheque ever offered in cricket.
There were mixed feelings across the world, both in the lead up to and following the series; and events have since proved that perhaps the Stanford connection within cricket may have been ill advised for many, however the potential good that may have come from his involvement with West Indies cricket, will now never be fulfilled, leaving the regions cricketing future in the balance.
Life after Stanford
In early 2009, Fountain was appointed as "Specialist Fielding Coach" to the Irish Cricket Team, under former West Indies Cricketer, Phil Simmons, during their World Cup Qualifying Tournament in South Africa, which proved to be highly successful, with Ireland not only winning the tournament, which they had previously never achieved, but retaining their ODI status along with qualifying for the next cricket world cup in 2011. Later in 2009 he again assisted Ireland when they played in Aberdeen against Scotland and in Stormont, Ireland during their ODI game against England which they narrowly lost. In December 2009 Fountain held clinics in St Kitts for the Canada Under 19 and West Indies Under 19 Squads, prior to their entry into the Under 19 world Cup in New Zealand in 2010.
ICC High Performance Program & Associate Teams
In March 2010, Fountain joined Bermuda as part of their coaching staff, on the recommendation of former West Indies & Australian Commonwealth Bank Academy Coach, David JA Moore. This was as part of their preparation camp held at the HPC (High Performance Centre) University of Pretoria, South Africa, for a short tour of Namibia.
In April 2010, Fountain was hired by the ICC, International Cricket Council, High Performance Unit to assist Ireland and Canada as part of their coaching staff, during their participation in the Jamaica Cricket Festival. Whilst on this assignment he also assisted with coaching Ireland in Trinidad, prior to their participation in the ICC World T20 Tournament in the Caribbean.
While in Trinidad, Fountain was invited to run "Specialist Fielding Clinics" for the highly acclaimed Trinidad & Tobago National Team, who were preparing for the Champions League qualification process.
In May, Fountain was again hired by Bermuda to help with the teams preparation for the ICC Americas Division 1 Championship to be held on Bermuda. He held a series of specialist fielding and T20 Batting Clinics for the Bermuda Team. He also held sessions for young Bermuda players, local coaches and local club teams.
In July, Fountain attended the ICC World Cricket League Division 1 Championships in Holland as the "Fielding Specialist Consultant" as part of the ICC High Performance Department. Other consultants included Mudassar Nazar (Batting), Dayle Hadlee (Bowling), Jeremy Snape / Michael Caulfied (Sporting Edge Performance), Dr Sherylle Calder / Christi Botha (Vision Training), Patrick Farhart (Physiotherapy / Player Management), Andy Russell (Strength & Conditioning), SportsMechanics (I) Pvt Ltd (Match Analysis).
Bangladesh Cricket Team
In August 2010 rumours flooded the cricket media that Fountain was set to become the Fielding Coach of the Bangladesh national cricket team with former South African Cricketer Lance Klusener set to become Bowling Coach 
This story has since been proved at least partly correct, when it was announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board that Fountain had indeed, joined the coaching & support staff of the Bangladesh Team. Kleusener finally turned down the role of bowling coach, which was then awarded to the highly acclaimed, and significantly more qualified, Ian Pont.
Fountain and Pont got off to a good start with Bangladesh after "Tiger Washing" the New Zealand team 4-0 during the Micromax ODI Series in October 2010. This is the first time Bangladesh has had a series win over a full-strength, Test-playing nation in its 10-year history and subsequently rose to 8th place in the ODI rankings, above West Indies and into the elite top group of teams. This was followed in December 2010 by a 3-1 series win over Zimbabwe.
As well as handling the fielding, Fountain took a small hand in both batting & bowling coaching whilst working with Bangladesh, assisting not only with fast bowlers with their slower balls, baseball style power mechanics for all batters, actions and release techniques with the spinners and batting fundamentals and tactics with the tail enders.
Despite dramatically raising the standard of the Bangladesh team's fielding in only a matter of months, Fountains contract was not renewed.
Head Coach Status
During the 2010 micromax home series against Zimbabwe, Fountain was appointed temporary Head Coach status, whilst Jamie Siddons attended the birth of his 2nd child back in Australia. This was for the 3rd ODI at Sher-e-bangla National stadium in Dhaka, which Bangladesh won
"Direct Hit" Performance Analysis Software System for Fielding
One of the most interesting things about cricket is the fact that a major section of the game, fielding, has little or no statistical data to call upon when selecting players, or making tactical adjustments. This had always puzzled Fountain, as he had extensive experience of baseball where all elements of the game, fielding included, are recorded. In 2010, Fountain's ground breaking "Fielding Analysis System" for cricket was put into a software package, to allow every aspect of cricket fielding to be scored and analysed, giving a complete picture on a team or individuals performance. The system was first used by Fountain during his early stints with the West Indies on the 2000 / 2001 tour of Australia, and has been 10 years in development. Since that time various people have tried to imitate or copy it, including certain well known TV companies; however the full software package is set for release before the end of 2011.
Projapoti (Butterfly Ball)
In 2010, whilst on assignment in Bangladesh Fountain and Ian Pont (Bangladesh Bowling Coach) used their dual sport (Cricket/Baseball) backgrounds, to design a completely new slower ball for pace bowlers or variation ball for spin bowlers Having both had experience as pitchers, Fountain and Pont were well aware of the movements it is possible to get a ball to do, with the correct release method. The ball has been named the "Projapoti" (in Bangla) or in English "Butterfly Ball" due to its erratic movement patterns through the air, and is based on the same aerodynamic principles as baseball's knuckleball.
Fountain launched a new training program for elite fielding on 1 Nov 2010 named the SPACE program. SPACE is an acronym of Safety, Power, Accuracy, Choice and Excellence which are the fundamental principles behind the program. It is designed to allow the player to execute the appropriate skill, using the correct mechanics, with the suitable amount of power; whilst maintaining the necessary accuracy and allowing for early target acquisition but late target change if necessary.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Fountain was part of the coaching staff for the Bangladesh National Cricket Team during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
- Game 1 v India at SBNCS, Dhaka, which was won by India by 87 runs.
- Game 2 v Ireland at SBNCS, Dhaka, which was won by Bangladesh by 27 runs
- Game 3 v West Indies at SBNCS, Dhaka, which was won by West Indies by 9 wickets
- Game 4 v England at ZACS, Chittagong, which was won by Bangladesh by 2 wickets
- Game 5 v Netherlands at ZACS, Chittagong, which was won by Bangladesh by 6 wickets
- Game 6 v South Africa at SBNCS, Dhaka, which was won by South Africa by 206 runs.
Notable series involvements
Fountain has been involved with the following notable international tournaments, series & events:
- 2011 Zoom Ultra ODI series, Bangladesh vs Australia, in Bangladesh (Australia Winners)
- 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & India
- 2010 Micromax ODI series, Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, in Bangladesh (Bangladesh Winners 3-1)
- 2010 Micromax ODI series, Bangladesh vs New Zealand, in Bangladesh (Bangladesh Winners 4-0)
- 2010 ICC World Cricket League Division 1 Championships in Netherlands
- 2010 ICC Americas Div 1 tournament, in Bermuda
- 2010 ICC World T20 (Ireland pre tournament camp), representing the ICC High performance dept, in Trinidad & Tobago
- 2010 Jamaica Cricket Festival (Ireland & Canada), representing the ICC High Performance dept, in Jamaica
- 2010 Bermuda vs Namibia (Pre tour camp) in South Africa
- 2009 Ireland vs England ODI, in Stormont, Ireland
- 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifiers in South Africa with Ireland (Ireland Winners)
- 2008 Stanford 20/20 for 20 vs England (Stanford Superstars Winners)
- 2008 Stanford Super Series (Stanford Superstars Winners)
- 2007 England U16 vs Australia U16 (Series 6-0 England Winners)
- 2007 West Indies Test / ODI in England (ODI Series 2-1, West Indies Winners)
- 2006 Pakistan Test / ODI in England (ODI Series Tied 2-2)
- 2001 Pakistan (Training Camp in Karachi)
- 2001 Pakistan ‘A’ tour, test / ODI series in Sri Lanka
- 2001 West Indies Test / ODI series vs South Africa, in the Caribbean
- 2000 West Indies Tests / ODI series in Australia
- 1999 England U19 vs Australia, in England
- 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup, West Indies in England
- 1999 West Indies Test / ODI series vs. Australia, in the Caribbean (ODI Series Tied 3-3)
- 1998 West Indies 'A' (Training Camp in Antigua)
- 1998 West Indies Test / ODI series in South Africa
- 1997 England U19 vs Pakistan, in England
- 1996 England U19 vs New Zealand, in England
Off the field
Fountain has written many articles on fielding, cricket, baseball and coaching which have been widely read, thanks to the internet. He has been on a huge range of sports television and radio shows, in all parts of the world. He has been involved with the research, production and presentation of coach education material for a wide variety of organisations including the ECB, PCB and WICB.
In January 2010 Fountain expressed an interest in working for Pakistan again, as the team had been having fielding issues on their tour of Australia.
- Good move by Windies Board Cricinfo retrieved 3 November 2009
- Gilchrist leads young Australians to spirited win Cricinfo retrieved 3 November 2009
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- "Siddons leaves for Australia" Dhaka Mirror retrieved 04/04/2011
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- "ICC Cricket World Cup Battle Plan, Fountain Tweaking Tigers" 04/04/11
- Fountain, Julien (December 2007). "Tips From The Top: Become A Power Hitter". The Wisden Cricketer. Retrieved 2009-11-02.
- Robins days numbered as BCCI get high profile CV Indian Express retrieved 3 November 2009
- New Fielding Coach for team India retrieved 3 November 2009
- Julien Fountain keen on Pakistan fielding role cricinfo.com retrieved 26 January 2010