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Vengsarkar critical of Mumbai cricket’s present condition

Dilip Vengsarkar

Mumbai: Former India skipper and ex-chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar here expressed concerns about the declining standard of cricket in Mumbai, considered as the nursery of the country’s players, and said that advanced coaching is the need of the hour.

“What is required in Mumbai is advanced coaching. IPL has started the mushroom growth of coaches. I don’t know whether they give the right kind of inputs to the young cricketers,” said Vengsarkar here last night during the launch of a new initiative – Excellence in Cricket (EIC) – of which he is the brand ambassador.

“Mumbai cricket has fallen a great deal over the last 2-4 years. Under Ajit Wadekar, Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy for 16 straight years. I hope those days come back. We have to revive it.

“This is where advanced coaching by the centre will help. There are a lot of former cricketers like Bishen Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna who are very good coaches. I am sure they will impart real set of knowledge to young cricketers,” said the 116-Test veteran.

He also advocated the revival of the corporate league in Mumbai to help cricketers get jobs and give better mileage to the corporate firms.

EIC has been set up to promote International Corporate Cricket League, Centre of Excellence and cricket academies guided by reputed coaches, it was announced at the launch function.

“The cricket academies will be set up at Mumbai (Payyade Sports Club in the western suburb of Borivli) and PYC Gymkhana in Pune. The phase 1 will start in June-July,” it was announced.

Apart from the two former spin greats Bedi and Prasanna, the other former cricketers who would be coaches at EIC are: Balwinder Sandhu, Sanjay Bangar, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Raghuram Bhatt, Shishir Hattangadi, Amol Muzumdar, Murali Karthik, Abey Kuruvilla, Paras Mhambrey, Zubin Bharucha, Dodda Ganesh, David Johnson, Salil Ankola and S Sridharan.

Current cricketers like Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa will have one-to-one talks with the trainees.

The International Corporate Cricket League, set to open the doors of the corporate world to young and talented cricketers would have teams comprising the corporate employees and players from academies run by EIC, and matches would be held in India, Oman, Dubai and Sri Lanka, it was announced.

The initiative would complement BCCI’s effort by promoting excellence in cricket in India, it was explained.

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