25 budding Kerala cricketers to train in Australia

May 31st, 2008 - 8:22 pm ICT by admin  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 31 (IANS) The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) is sending 25 junior cricketers for a six-week training camp to Queensland, Australia. The camp is being organised by the Australian Sports Gateway (ASG). KCA secretary T.C. Matthew said the maiden programme was meant to infuse confidence in budding cricketers.

“Selection was based on their performance in the last one year. They will leave for Australia June 9,” he said.

The KCA is a profit-making association and last year paid Rs.250 million in taxes after profits came in from one day international matches in Kochi.

“Hitherto the profits were accumulating and hence we ended up paying such a huge amount of tax. So we decided to re-invest in the game itself and for the welfare of the budding talent,” Matthew told IANS.

“Our Ranji team coach V. Hariharan, a former player, who represented both Kerala and Karnataka state cricket teams, works with the ASG. I went to the academy and was happy with the facilities there and hence we selected that academy,” he added.

The six week programme at ASG includes includes psychological courses in the classroom and outdoor activities besides cricket. The association is paying 800 Australian dollars per trainee per week.

Kerala has produced just two Test players in the Tinu Yohanan and S. Sreesanth, but cricket has a huge following in the state.

“The biggest impediment that I have noticed in cricketers from Kerala is lack of confidence and it is here that we decided to rectify through training programmes of the highest quality,” said Mathew.

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