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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Pak seamers, made in India

The Pak cricket board plans to send some promising seamers to the MRF Academy to hone their skills. Good, now it's almost unanimous -- Australia had sent the likes of Jason Gillespie to practise there; Lance Klusener and Shaun Pollock among others have come down from South Africa; almost the entire Sri Lankan lineup of seamers have trained there; for Pakistan, which seems to produce quicks off some endless assembly line, to consider the academy as the ideal finishing school is I guess the ultimate accolade.
It's a great place, actually (for some reason, the page in Rediff refuses to open up, but I found this cached copy of an earlier report I had done, the accompanying interview with Lillee, and one with TA Shekhar, on the hows and whys of the academy) -- structured with a lot of thought, and very well managed and run; in every way a contrast, come to think of it, to the national cricket academy run under the BCCI's aegis.
One aspect of this has always stuck in my craw -- while the boards of other countries have played an official part in sending promising quicks to the academy for training, the BCCI has done nothing, on similar lines, to nurture our own seam talent. The academy exists because of the vision of Ravi and Vinu Mammen of MRF; it runs well because it has full-time, professional management structures headed by Shekhar and a dedicated coach in Lillee -- and the likes of Srinath, Prasad, Zaheer, Balaji, Pathan and others have benefitted, because they have on their own initiative gone down to the academy for training.
That's the story of Indian cricket -- we produce talent often despite of, not because of, the official body.


  • Prem!!

    Your blog is the best things happened to Indian Cricket Fans since last season...atleast there is some fun/excitment off-the-field if not on :-)

    Tahe-dil sai ShukraGuzar hai aapke hum :-)

    Boss keep it up at least for sometime till u work on ur tourism-company :-P


    By Anonymous abhay, at 12:45  

  • Hi Prem,

    Great fun reading your blogs. Do miss your articles on Rediff though. A quick question - what happened to those two teenagers you saw (pace up there in the Srinath class)?

    Also a suggestion - could you or someone at Rediff do a tour piece on the NCA? Curious to know the processes that are preparing the cricketers of tomorrow. It seems cricket journalism all over the world focuses on the personalities more than the methods. It'd be nice to know what the aspiring Laxmans or Bhajjis are put through to groom their talent.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 17:26  

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