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Treat young bowlers right: Abey Kuruvilla to MCA

Ex-Mumbai and India pacer emphasises on proper training and follow-ups for bowlers who make it in the final list of Mumbai Cricket Association's talent scheme involving tennis ball bowlers

The ultimate goal for any cricketer is to represent his country and perform well. However, this journey starts from their backyard, with a tennis or rubber ball. In course of time, some of these gully cricketers go beyond and create their own place in history.

Abey Kuruvilla
Abey Kuruvilla 

Mumbai Cricket Association realised the importance of raw talent in 1990 and thus bowlers like Abey Kuruvilla, Paras Mhambrey, Sairaj Bahutule, and Nilesh Kulkarni played for India post the BCA-Mafatlal Bowling Scheme under the supervision of former England fast bowler Frank Tyson.

Now, after a gap of 25 years, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has realised the importance of such a scheme again. MCA observers and selectors are in search of talent through open selections conducted so far at Thane and Vasai.

The two-day selection trials begin in Bhiwandi tomorrow while the association has yet to announce plans for trials in the city. Former Test cricketer and a product of the BCA-Mafatlal Bowling Scheme, Abey Kuruvilla welcomed this idea.

"Although some cricketers play with a tennis ball, they have a good ball sense. MCA only needs to tap talent, groom them and provide an opportunity to perform", Kuruvilla told mid-day yesterday.

"But this should be a regular feature in Mumbai cricket. Why should tennis ball cricketers wait for a such long period," asked Kuruvilla, a member of the MCA managing committee.

He added: "There should be emphasis on proper training and follow-ups for these to-be short listed tennis ball bowlers, otherwise it will remain just another scheme."

Mumbai cricket may find some serious pace bowling talent, but does the MCA have a serious and long-term plan for such an initiative? If yes, who will play the role of Frank Tyson this time, to shape the future? This appointment is going to be as vital as the selection of the trainees.

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