After Rajya Sabha stint, Tendulkar moves on to nurturing youth in sports

Former teammate Vinod Kambli will shoulder Sachin Tendulkar’s new training venture in Mumbai and Pune, in association with English county Middlesex.

Sachin Tendulkar interacts with youngsters during the inaugural camp at the Merchant Taylor’s School in Northwood in North-West London.   -  Special Arrangement

Almost five years after he played his last international match — a Test match against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium — Sachin Tendulkar believes that grassroots training is a must for youngsters to succeed at any level of the game: school, college, club, state or national.

After completing a six-year term as a Rajya Sabha member and promoting other sports at the franchise level, Tendulkar has now shifted focus on providing modern training to budding talent in Mumbai and Pune. Three months ago, he teamed up with London county Middlesex to launch the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy (TMGA), with an inaugural camp at the Merchant Taylor’s School in Northwood in North-West London.

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In 10 days’ time, from November 1 to 4, Tendulkar and Middlesex will unveil the TMGA programme at the DY Patil Sports Academy at Nerul, Navi Mumbai. Thereafter, another four-day camp will be conducted at the MIG Cricket Club in Bandra (East) from November 6 to 9.

Similar camps will be run at The Bishop’s School in Pune from November 12 to 15 and from November 17 to 20. The initial programme will be for boys and girls in the 7-12 and 13-18 age groups.

Sharing his thoughts and plans with Sportstar, Tendulkar said, “We decided to conduct camps in India and England, but since it was the monsoon season in India in August, we decided to hold the first camp in London. Now we have four four-day camps in Mumbai and Pune.

 

"The whole idea is to bring together different kinds of coaching backed by Middlesex County’s experience of 154 years and my 24 years in international cricket. We discussed and decided that we should impart and share knowledge with the children. The idea is to have a programme which outlives all of us. The camp will comprise technical aspects, mental and also several other aspects that would shape a good modern cricketer.”

Larger vision

The TMGA is keen to take the programme to different countries. “That’s why we are calling it a global academy without boundaries. This will will allow cricketers from England to come to India and practise, or Indian cricketers to go to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

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“The TMGA is just a first idea; the larger vision is to go to schools and colleges and work on year-long camps. Children practice throughout the year. We want to coach them with a method we have learnt, a method we believe can help them to grow as cricketers and also as youngsters,” continued the master blaster.

 

Tendulkar will be part of all four camps. He has also roped in schoolmate Vinod Kambli, and former Ranji Trophy cricketers like Milind Gunjal, Shantanu Sugwekar and Pradeem Sundaram. Middlesex and England’s Toby Roland-Jones, David Malan, Nick Compton and John Simpson will also be part of the four camps.

Tendulkar's love for cricket began when he used to play cricket with a tennis ball in the Sahitya Sahawas colony compound in Bandra (East). It was his elder brother, Ajit, who spotted his talent and enrolled him for classes with coach Ramakant Achrekar.

Supporting all sports

Tendulkar said he has played a variety of sports, including Indian games like lagori and langdi before choosing to play cricket, and believes that the youth should be given opportunities to play all the games. “Hence, the bigger vision is to have a club like the Cricket Club of India or Bombay Gymkhana. That’s because we want to support other sports also. A club where people can play different games like tennis, squash, badminton, table tennis and swimming. They have to be encouraged. It’s like creating facilities around cricket.”

As a 10-year-old, Tendulkar was a die-hard fan of the mercurial tennis player John McEnroe, but the American southpaw’s craft with the racket did not change his love for cricket. Three decades later, he is keen to hone young talent by providing them with the most modern and advanced training facilities at the TMGA.