Mumbai bowlers fare poorly in Board's raw talent trials

A selection trial for bowlers (pacers and spinners) initiated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India drew a blank despite the attendance of 460 raw bowlers at the Mumbai Cricket Association ground in Mahavir Nagar, Kandivli on Saturday.

Sandeep Patil (third from left) watches the proceedings at MCA ground in Mahavir Nagar, Kandivli on Saturday. Pic/Suresh KK

In a quest to unearth sheer raw talent, the Indian cricket board has been conducting selection trials for bowlers all over the country. “We got a very poor response as compared to other parts of India. We predicted 1500 plus entries here and expected the trails to go on for two days, but unfortunately that was not the case. We hope the numbers go up next time round,” an official told SUNDAY MiD DAY.

Participants were asked to bowl six balls each, but did not impress Sandeep Patil (Director of National Cricket Academy), V Venkatram (coach at NCA’s bowling unit), Yoginder Puri (coach at BCCI academy in Mohali) and AK Jha (NCA’s administration manager).

It is learnt that the selectors were looking for, among other factors, sheer pace – 130kmph from the pacers. However, the BCCI’s press release inviting bowlers for the camp, did not mention any speed figure. Where spinners were concerned, the selectors were looking at how much turn they could extract.

Not disappointed: Patil
Patil, who has been with the NCA for a while now, was not disappointed over the fact that no bowler was selected from the Mumbai camp. “I am not disappointed because we have already picked 70 boys (from other camps). This is a great idea by Sanjay Jagdale (BCCI secretary) and at the end of it all, even if we get 10 bowlers, it will be good for Indian cricket. It is well thought out; not a gimmick.”

Among the 460 bowlers was Arun Dey (19), an off-spinner from Navi Mumbai, whose father is suffering from cancer. “I came all the way from Vashi with a strong belief of being selected, but unfortunately, I couldn’t impress the selectors. My father wants to see me play for India. I am working hard to make his dream come true.” 

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