Culling rural talent key to Vidarbha's success, says VCA vice-president

Despite being around the circuit for long, this is Vidarbha's maiden Ranji final and Prashant Vaidya, VCA vice-president, feels that going to the rural areas has helped the team find brighter talents.

Prashant Vaidya, Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) vice-president, hopes the team will return to Nagpur with the coveted title.   -  SHAYAN ACHARYA

It has been a season to remember for Vidarbha. From starting as a no-hoper, the young side has gone all the way to reach the final of the Ranji Trophy.

And as the team battled it out against Delhi in the summit clash at the Holkar Stadium on Friday, the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) vice-president, Prashant Vaidya, admitted that the success of smaller teams like Rajasthan motivated the side to perform better.

READ: Fazal: Vidarbha ready to do anything for maiden Ranji title

Important to sustain fine form

“New teams are coming up very well. Somebody like (Rajneesh) Gurbani was not heard of till the quarterfinals or the semifinals. New teams doing well brings out new players and then that is how you increase the competition,” Vaidya, also a former India cricketer, told Sportstar.

“That is how it helps in the development of cricket overall. It makes the entire setup more competitive and also acts as inspiration for others teams. Looking at the success of smaller teams like Rajasthan (which won consecutive titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons), we also felt we can win,” Vaidya added.

The vice-president is also aware of the fact that after a good season, it is important to sustain the fine run. For that, Vaidya believes, this success will help them plan better for the next season. “The planning can be lot easier for next year since we now know the process,” he stated.

READ: Key players to watch out for

Digging rural talent key to success

Despite being around the circuit for long, this is Vidarbha's maiden Ranji final and Vaidya feels that going to the rural areas has helped the team find brighter talents. “You need to have a good structure; that is most important. I always believed talent is going to be there more in rural areas, that is where we need to get the junior lot—the U-15, U-16 sides.

"Once that happens, then you have a continuous flow of U-16, U-19 graduating into the higher side. That’s where you get teams to perform consistently,” Vaidya said, adding: “The structure is more important, to have more matches at junior level, especially in district areas. That is what we have been trying to do in Vidarbha. I am firm believer that you have lot of talent in Vidarbha and we have to reach out to them, identify them at an early age and get them into the system early,” Vaidya said.

READ:  Vidarbha's road to summit clash

Chandrakant Pandit the right pick

The VCA Academy started in 2009, and there has been no looking back since. This time, with Chandrakant Pandit coming in as the coach, things have only improved. “Pandit is the right person to coach a team like Vidarbha where you need to instil in them the self-belief,” Vaidya said, adding that it was Pandit, who had approached them earlier this year.

“He is well respected and has got a good record as a coach. And then being from Mumbai, it does help. Teams like Vidarbha, which are in developing states, you need the right work ethics,” he said, adding: “We definitely had a very good team. We have been playing knockouts for last few years, maybe not as consistently but we were there. This time, we had a very good pre-season that also helped,” Vaidya said, hoping that the team will return to Nagpur with the coveted title.