A total of 35 under-16 cricketers from various Commonwealth nations — Singapore, Malaysia, Uganda, Jamaica and other countries — are being trained at the National Cricket Academy here. The aim is to try and develop their skills, through high-class coaching and facilities.
The month-long camp, run by the BCCI and Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, came to fruition after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting earlier this year that India will organise cricket training for under-16 boys and girls.
Customised individual plans
Given that the group comprises of cricketers of various skill levels and requirements, customised individual plans have been developed. “We try to understand each player’s goal. Some of them have already played for their national junior team, while others are trying to get into the junior national team.
“Some others — a couple of kids from Zambia, for example — are very talented, but quite raw. So it a challenge for our entire support staff,” NCA visiting coach Apurva Desai said.
Apart from Desai, the coaching team consists of T. Dilip (felding), M. Venkataramana (bowling), Kalpana Venkatachar (batting), Ragini Malhotra (fielding) and Amita Sharma (bowling).
The programme is supervised by former India skipper and NCA Head of Cricket, Rahul Dravid. “Rahul bhai took care of the induction, and he is deeply involved in drawing up the plans. He watches some of our sessions too, and talks to the youngsters individually,” Desai said.
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