Ashwin Foundation launched in Chennai, eight youngsters awarded scholarships

The Ashwin Foundation, in partnership with the Gen-Next Cricket Institute, has chosen eight children for the inaugural Ashwin Foundation scholarship.

Members and partners of Ashwin Foundation, which was inaugurated on Tuesday, pose alongside the eight awardees of the scholarship program.   -  S. R. Raghunathan

The Ashwin Foundation, which was officially launched by India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday in Chennai, will look to award cricket scholarships to underprivileged kids, said the 32-year-old off spinner.

The foundation, in partnership with the Gen-Next Cricket Institute, conducted a talent hunt at the Center for Sports Science of Sri Ramachandra Medical College in Porur, on June 1 and 2. Eight children were chosen and awarded a cricket kit, whites and the inaugural Ashwin Foundation scholarship.

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“About 200 kids participated in the talent hunt across two days conducted by Yo Mahesh and Murugan Ashwin. After round one and two, we zeroed in on 25 out of the 200,” said Sudarshan D, Chief Operating Officer of the institute.

The final round of selections took place on June 6 and Ashwin himself handpicked the winners. The chosen youngsters will undergo scientific training for a year.

When asked about whether there was any kid who particularly caught his eye, he said, “There is this left-arm spinner called Sameer Khan. He was the first kid about who we all agreed in unison. Then there is Subhramaniam, medium-fast bowler who only has his grandmother to take care of him. His mother is differently abled. Tamil Nadu requires medium-fast bowlers. So I am working on it. It is all about holding their hands and giving the boys a chance.”

The foundation, which is to be chaired by the India international’s wife Prithi, organised an eye-donation camp as well, and also promised to promote road safety and importance of voting.

“We would like to extend the scholarships to education as well in the near future,” said Prithi.