Newly-appointed Mumbai Cricket Association administrators — former Supreme Court Judge Justice Hemant Gokhale and former Bombay High Court Judge Justice V.M. Kanade — took a quantum leap by distributing Indian Premier League tickets among school cricketers on Monday.

Sportstar understands that the Committee of Administrators cleared 17 tickets each for Al-Barkaat (Harris Shield winner), Rizvi Springfield (Giles Shield winner) and the two Rest-of-Mumbai School XIs.


Justice V.M. Kanade (left) and Justice Hemant Gokhale at the Wankhede Stadium.

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Harris Shield champions Al-Barkaat and the assorted eleven will grace the Vijay Merchant Pavilion at the Wankhede Stadium to catch Mumbai Indians in action against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The kids from Rizvi Springfield and the other eleven will be provided tickets for the May 6 game between MI and Kolkata Knight Riders.

Hear it from the champs

Harsh Mogaveera, a class X student and a middle-order batsman for Al-Barkaat, feels the school team will derive confidence watching their heroes from close quarters. “There are lots to learn from the skill-sets of IPL cricketers, especially how they bowl at death. Even the batsmen need a lot of planning to execute shots,” he says.

“We will be wearing our school’s practice uniform. I am excited because this is my first time. Though I am a fan of Virat Kohli, I am looking forward to watch Rohit Sharma,” he adds.

Left-arm spinner Saud Mansoori, who finished his Class X CBSE, has a fair bit of stadium experience. “I had watched an India-England ODI at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. But watching an IPL game is a great chance for us. I hope MI wins the game,” he prays.

The magic man

Nadim Memon, the Mumbai School Sports Association cricket secretary who requested the two-member CoA for the tickets, feels the kids deserved a chance.

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“They are our future players. They are going to play for the state and later, some of them may even play for India. I wrote to the administrators saying that our school cricket has given Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar. If you don’t give them tickets and you give it to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Public Works Department and the police, it is not a good sign. Many of them sell those tickets at higher rates. Children shouldn’t be deprived. Harris Shield and Giles Shield are old and prestigious tournaments,” says Memon.

Memon, who has been a curator and a committee member of the MCA, turned out to be the magic man. The appointment of the CoA was initiated based on his petition in the Bombay High Court in March.