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Tuesday, May 02, 2000

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National Cricket Academy inaugurated

By Our Sports Reporter

BANGALORE, MAY. 1.It is at present a small step for the Board of Control for Cricket in India, but a giant step for young Indian cricketers. That must be the feeling and hopes of all who assembled at the inauguration of the National Cricket Academy at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on May Day.

Rodney Marsh, former Australian wicket-keeper- batsman and presently Director of the Commonwealth Cricket Academy at Adelaide made a succinct summation at the inauguration of the Academy when he cautioned the young hopefuls selected to train at the academy. `` Be aware of a couple of facts,'' Marsh said. `` Just because you are at the academy it does not give you the right to play for India. You get the right to represent India only if you are good enough. The ability rests in your hands, '' Rodney Marsh reiterated to the athletes as he prefers to calls them. `` The second fact is that just because India now has a cricket Academy it does not necessarily mean that India will win all its one-day matches from now on. The results could permeate only after four or five years. This is only phase one of the academy and we want to bring in a new culture and a new hardness in the players,'' Marsh added. `` Cricket is now a game of new technology, new sports sciences and it is a huge industry world wide. This academy will strive to bring the best facilities to the young players to gain from these improvements, but the passion must come from within,'' Marsh stressed.

Mr. Raj Singh Dungapur, Chairman of the National Cricket Academy called it the most ambitious project of the BCCI with a budget of Rs. 1.5 crore for starters. Drawing a parallel on the late Dr. Martin Luther King's speech of ``I have a dream'', Mr. Dungapur said that with the backing of Rodney Marsh who was a tower of strength and with the whole-hearted support of esteemed former Indian cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, S. Venkatraghavan, B.S. Chandrashekar, E.A.S. Prasanna, Syed Kirmani, Kapil Dev, Bishan Bedi, Brijesh Patel and Polly Umrigar the athletes at the academy stood to gain abundantly. Mr. Dungapur also lauded the efforts of coaches Vasu Paranjpe and Roger Binny complimented the latter on his success with the Indian Under-19 team. He also read out messages of felicitation from Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya and Dr. A. C. Muthaiah on the inauguration of the academy.

Mr. Hanumant Singh outlined his plans for the activity during the academy and hoped that the trainees would strive hard to gain from the inputs provided by the masters in their respective fields. Mr. Brijesh Patel proposed a vote of thanks.

Later at a press conference Mr. Hanumant Singh stressed on the difference between the earlier coaching camp and the present academy. Mr. Dungapur also added that there would be five zonal academies which would be the feeder line to the National Academy. Talent Spotting would also be done at the Under-16 and Under-19 level to identify youngsters with potential who could be included in the academy. Karnataka's promising fast bowler G. Chaitra is already one of the youngsters who will be assessed by the physios and included in the academy soon.

The boys at the academy immediately got down to the business of video filming at the nets and assessment of fitness by Mr. Bernard Savage who works with the Australian Cricket Academy. Andrew Leipus, physio of the India team would be on hand whenever free from commitments with the India squad and Mr. Rana would help the boys with their physical fitness. Four of the boys selected for the academy ( Anshu Jain, Yuvraj Singh, L.R. Shukla and Saulabh Srivastav) were unable to reach Bangalore because of exams and would be joining shortly.

The trainees at the camp are: Nikhil Haldipur, Sridharan Sriram, Shiv Sundar Das, Anshu Jain, Mohammed Kaif, Gautam Gambhir, Niraj Patel, Mihir Diwakar, Yuvaraj Singh, Ramesh Powar, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Laxmi Ratanb Shukla, Ajay Ratra, Rohit Jelani, Murali Karthik, Anup Dave, Harbhajan Singh, Sarandeep Singh, Prashanth Chandra Menon, Saulabh Srivastav, Zaheer Khan, Fazal Mohammed, Rakesh Patel and Tinu Yohanan.

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