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India, England profit from 40-yr-old spinner

There are quite a few things that stand out about leggie Subodh Chhabria. One: The 40-year-old, who is still chasing his dream of becoming an India cricketer, bowled tirelessly to Team India’s batters for five hours in the nets during the three-day camp which ended yesterday at the Brabourne Stadium.

The other is his Shane Warne-like action, tossing the ball from his right arm to left at the top of his mark. Chhabria’s leg spin has impressed not just the Indian team, but also the England outfit to whom he bowled in the nets ahead of their second warm-up game against Mumbai ‘A’ at the DY Patil Stadium, Nerul last week.


Subodh Chhabria bowls during Team India’s training camp at Brabourne Stadium. Pic/Suresh KK

Chhabria, who plays for Shivaji Park Youngsters, an ‘A’ division club in Mumbai, was a regular whenever the Mumbai Indians practised at the Wankhede Stadium during the last Indian Premier League season. An optimistic Chhabria said, “I know age is not on my side, but I would like to see myself with a passion of an 18-year-old having 22 years of experience. It is said that cricketers mature with age.”

Jenner’s student
Armed with three stints of personal training under Terry Jenner, coach of the legendary leg-spinner spinner Warne, in Australia, Chhabria left his cushy job in a global bank in Dubai to pursue his dream of becoming a professional cricketer at the age of 37. “I always felt I was missing something in my life. I was lucky to discover that it is cricket that completes me. I could have pursued playing international cricket for UAE, but playing for your own country is the ultimate goal,” said Chhabria, who has also bowled to international sides like Pakistan and Australia a few years back at the Dubai Sports City.

So, where does he go from here? “I had never thought I would be bowling to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Alastair Cook and other great cricketers. I firmly believe in destiny. Koshish karne walon ki kabhi haar nahi hoti (The one who tries, never loses),” signed
off Chhabria.  

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