Another disappointing year for Shardashram

Dec 31, 2011, 08:24 IST | Sundari Iyer
Shardashram's rich legacy at stake after yet another disappointing season in inter-school cricket

It was yet another disappointing year for Shardashram (Dadar), the alma mater of prominent India cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli, in inter-school cricket this season. Yesterday, their Marathi team made an exit from the U-14 Giles Shield Elite Division, despite winning their third round tie against VPMS Vidyamandir (Dahisar) by 56 runs, while their English team did not even feature in the top group this time. 

Over & Out: Shardashram Vidyamandir team after losing to Rizvi 
Springfield in the Harris Shield Elite Division earlier this month. 
Pic/Suresh KK

In the Harris Shield tournament for U-16 boys, Shardashram Marathi beat their sister team in the third round, but got a thrashing at the hands of defending champions Rizvi Springfield (Bandra) in the semis earlier this month.  

Once known as the nursery of Mumbai's cricket, Shardashram is finding it difficult to live upto its rich legacy. In the last five years, only twice have their teams managed to reach the final of the Giles and Harris Shield Elite Division tournaments.

Former India batsman Vinod Kambli, who alongwith batting great Sachin Tendulkar etched Shardashram's name in the history books with the then record partnership of 664 runs in February 1988, is disappointed with his school's performances. "It upsets me when I read about my school not doing well in cricket. The level of competition has also gone down over the years. Unlike now, we never had one team dominating," Kambli told MiD DAY. 
The dashing left-hander blamed the ever-increasing pressure of academics put by parents as the main reason for poor showing. "Too much pressure on excelling in academics confuses children who want to pursue cricket. Parents should let the kids decide about their future," he added. 

Another Shardashram prodigy, Amol Muzumdar, felt lack of quality players as a prime reason for the school's downfall. "Shardashram has always been a force to reckon with in schools cricket. They must be short of quality players especially with so many schools coming up with better facilities. Earlier, Shivaji Park used to be the hub of all cricketing activity, but now cricket has spread to the suburbs too. 

"I don't think their coach Naresh Churi should be blamed for poor performances because it is the players who slug it out in the middle. I'm sure they will get back their glory days soon," said the former Mumbai skipper and Ranji Trophy's second highest run-getter. 

Mumbai's current Ranji Trophy player Abhishek Nayar, who left Bombay Scottish (Mahim) to join Shardashram only to play cricket, said: "I don't know about the current situation, but the school used to be supportive during our times.

"One reason why Rizvi is dominating is because the school takes care of the academics, while the guys can concentrate on their game. So, naturally kids would like to play for a school that encourages them." 

Performance in the last five years:
2005-06     Giles Shield: 3rd round       Giles Shield: 3rd round
         Harris Shield: Runners-up   Harris Shield: 3rd round

2006-07     Giles: 3rd round                Giles: Runners-up
             Harris: 3rd round               Harris: 3rd round

2007-08     Giles: 3rd round                Giles: 3rd round
         Harris: 3rd round               Harris: 3rd round

2008-09     Giles: 3rd round                Giles: 3rd round
             Harris: 3rd round               Harris: 3rd round

2009-10     Giles: 3rd round                Giles: 3rd round
             Harris: 3rd round               Harris: 3rd round

2010-11     Giles: 3rd round                Giles: 3rd round
             Harris: 3rd round               Harris: 3rd round

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