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25 years later, it's back to Brisbane for ex-Indian pacer Vishal Mahadik

In 1991, fast bowler Vishal Mahadik was picked along with future India paceman Abey Kuruvilla to train in Queensland, Australia with Frank Tyson, a visit that was part of the Bombay Cricket Association-Mafatlal Bowling Scheme.

Vishal Mahadik with Jeff Thomson at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore last week
Vishal Mahadik with Jeff Thomson at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore last week

Tomorrow, Mahadik (44) will fly to the same cricketing destination as coach of a bowling foundation sponsored by IDBI Federal Life Insurance and spearheaded by Australia pace great Jeff Thomson.

The young pacers set to benefit from this trip are  Tushar Deshpande, Minad Manjrekar (from Mumbai), David Mathais and Prisith Krishna (from Bangalore). They will train at the Centre of Cricketing Excellence in Queensland for a month.

Mahadik has bitter-sweet memories of his 1991 Down Under trip. He benefited greatly from Tyson's teachings, but is sad that he won't be able to meet his deceased mentor. "Tyson sir used to call me as a 'nasty fellow'. I was just like a family member to him. I will definitely try and meet his family members," Mahadik told mid-day yesterday.

Those club years
Mahadik, who was spotted by former India Test bowler Balwinder Singh Sandhu while bowling with a rubber ball as a 14-year-old lad, later played for Sunder Cricket Club in 1991, the year he earned a name at the bowling scheme.

He made his Ranji Trophy debut after being roped in by Indian Oil. While Tyson called him a 'nasty fellow', he was called 'Ghoda' by Mumbai captain Ravi Shastri during a Tata Sports Club vs Indian Oil Times Shield match.

Mahadik made his Mumbai Ranji Trophy debut against Baroda under Sachin Tendulkar's captaincy in 1993-94. Mahadik thanked former Mumbai player and noted coach Vasu Paranjape for making him a coach.  "After playing cricket, I always wanted to become a coach. Dilip Vengsarkar gave me a chance to coach at his academy under Paranjape sir. I learnt a lot from him. I had not done any level of coaching, but he taught me a lot," said Mahadik.

Mahadik coached Canada Cricket Association's Cuban Cricket Commission team for three years and more recently, assisted former England skipper Michael Vaughan as a bowling coach of Capricorn Commanders in the Masters Champions League in the UAE last year.

"It's a very emotional time for me. My dream was to become a fast bowler and play for Mumbai and India for a long time. I could not fulfil that dream, but I want to see the bowlers who I accompany to Australia play for their respective state teams and India for many years. My life will come a full circle if they achieve that," said Mahadik.

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