Harris Shield: Refreshed Al Barkaat gear up to defend title

Updated: Nov 16, 2018, 08:41 IST | Gordon D'Costa |

But the players replacing them were part of our U-14 Giles Shield-winning team last year, so I'm sure we will put up a good fight," said Rizvi coach Raju Pathak, whose side have won the prestigious U-16 inter-school title a massive 14 times

Al Barkaat players during a training session yesterday
Al Barkaat players during a training session yesterday

Defendingchampions Al Barkaat English School (Kurla) have their task cut out as the Mumbai Schools Sports Association-organised Harris Shield boys' U-16 inter-school cricket tournament begins today.Al Barkaat who had defeated Swami Vivekanand International School (Kandivli) in the final last year, have retained eight players from the winning team. Head coach Nafees Khan has full faith in the six replacement.

"Six players from last year's team have passed out. The players from the junior ranks, who have come into the team, are equally proficient and I'm confident that they will live up to my expectations. Ours is a good all-round team, with depth in the batting, sting in the bowling and backed by some excellent fielding. Our captain Harsh Mogaveera is also a good leader and proved it by guiding the team to success last year," Khan told mid-day after a practice session yesterday.

Swami Vivekanand are determined to better their second-place finish. Like Al Barkaat, the Kandivli school have eight players from the last team and coach Shyamji Kanojiya sounded positive about their title prospects. "We have a balanced bunch of talented cricketers like left-arm spinner Hitenshu Kamdar and wicketkeeper-batsman Shreyash Hirelekar. We are only lacking match practice as we did not get to play matches this time" said Kanojiya.

Al Barkaat open their campaign against Dominic Savio on November 21, while SVIS will clash with St John's (Borivli) on November 22. Last year's losing semi-finalists Rizvi Springfield are also ready to challenge for the title. "Almost the entire team is a new bunch because around 10 players passed out of school last year. But the players replacing them were part of our U-14 Giles Shield-winning team last year, so I'm sure we will put up a good fight," said Rizvi coach Raju Pathak, whose side have won the prestigious U-16 inter-school title a massive 14 times.

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