Coach Sulakshan Kulkarni bowled over by India's disabled cricket team

Updated: Jul 25, 2019, 07:45 IST | Harit N Joshi

After a five-day camp conducted in Maharashtra's Shegaon town, Sulakshan Kulkarni is bowled over by the talent at his disposal

Sulakshan Kulkarni
Sulakshan Kulkarni

Sulakshan Kulkarni coached Mumbai to its 40th Ranji Trophy title in 2012-13, but he feels that his current task — preparing India's physically challenged cricket team for the forthcoming first-ever World Cricket Series in England from August 5 — is one of his finest moments of his coaching career.

After a five-day camp conducted in Maharashtra's Shegaon town, Kulkarni is bowled over by the talent at his disposal. "Their discipline, attitude and hunger to perform is incredible. They have enough talent and require no sympathy. These guys are extremely fearless and mentally very strong," Kulkarni told mid-day upon his return to the city yesterday.

The Vikrant Keni-led Indian team will leave for England in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Kulkarni is not just confident about the team performing well in the World Cricket Series, he believes some of his players have the ability to make the cut for an Indian Premier League [IPL] side, if provided the opportunity.

'They can play in IPL'

"After seeing these guys, it is difficult for me to gauge the difference between able and disabled cricketers.

"I am confident that they will do extremely well in this tournament, but I would also like to state that there are some exceptional cricketers in this team who have the potential to play in the IPL.

"SuGanesh Mahendaran is one such example. He is a combination of VVS Laxman and Carl Hooper, but he can hit more powerfully than both these great cricketers.

"Jithendra Nagaraju can grip the ball with just three fingers [thumb, middle and third finger]. He effortlessly cleared the fence at the Shegaon ground which is 85 yards. He can fit into any IPL team.

Kashmir's Aamir impresses

"Then, there's a Kashmiri boy, Aamir Rather. The left-arm pace bowler is very effective in the death overs," explained Kulkarni.

Interestingly, Kulkarni, himself a wicketkeeper in his playing days, was particularly impressed by stumper Tushar Paul's airborne catch during their recent camp.

"Tushar has a prosthetic right leg, but still he managed to take an airborne catches to his right," said Kulkarni.

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