Learning cricket, the Kiwi way

Former New Zealand internationals Mathew Sinclair and Llorne Howell are currently holding a cricket camp at St Francis Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for cubs.

Former New Zealand cricketer Mathew Sinclair at the St Francis Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Young cricketers at the St Francis Cricket Academy (part of St Francis School, ICSE), over the past few weeks, have been honing their skills under the guidance of former New Zealand internationals Mathew Sinclair and Llorne Howell.

The camp, which will last till May 14, has 75 participants — students of the school or otherwise. Sinclair, who has been involved with the academy since last year, says: “This is my second year in India. Guys play cricket throughout the year in India, while in New Zealand, there is rugby, and cricket, a summer sport, is not played for all 345 days.”

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Naveen Kaipu, a parent, who looks after the daily affairs at the SFCA, says: “As a parent, I contacted the school authorities a couple of years back and asked if we could bring some expert cricketer from abroad and train the kids. Being a New Zealand citizen, I knew a few people there, and got in touch with Kyle Mills, who suggested the name of Sinclair.”

With school principal, Brother Antony D. Vayalil, showing enthusiasm, the young cricketers are provided with first-class facilities. “The entire credit goes to the school,” Kaipu adds.

Sinclair and other members of SFCA are also trying to spread their net far and wide and have already visited the Beta Public School in Kancheepuram and The King’s School in Goa. “We also visited Gopalan International School and the Magadi Cricket Academy in Bengaluru to guide the cricketers. Our dream is to encourage Indian schools to visit New Zealand and play cricket on green tops, similarly their cricketers can come and train here,” Kaipu says.

The SFCA charges an annual fee of Rs 11,500 for the camp and the Kiwi duo is expected to be back in India again in October.