Bedi wants to get Jammu and Kashmir closer through cricket

July 18th, 2011 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi says apart from motivating cricketers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, he would like to see the two regions get closer.

Bedi, whom the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) Sunday appointed the coach for three years, is allergic to the word “coach” and has always insisted that he is only a motivator.

“My job is to make the J&K; players feel that they can compete with any other state team, they must stop thinking of just participating in the national championship,” Bedi told IANS on return to Delhi from Srinagar Monday morning.

“For cricket purposes, I would like it to be Jammu-Kashmir team, not Jammu and Kahsmir,” Bedi stresses.

Some two decades ago, Bedi egged on the Punjab cricket team to win the Ranji Trophy and he did it in less than three years of taking over the reins of the side. A decade ago, he was with the Delhi team for a couple of seasons which, however, did not work out all that well.

“My job would essentially be to provide the boys a direction and the right kind of exposure. What I could gather in the couple of days I spent before accepting the offer was that the JKCA officials and players are keen that they made a mark at the national level instead of just drifting along year after year,” said Bedi.

Bedi is clear in his mind that he has to provide the road map for the young cricketers who all look highly motivated and eager to learn how to go about it. For starters he wants the boys to realise that they can move up the ladder, from the Plate Division to Elite Group.

“I have to deliver before I ask boys to deliver. My immediate task is to move them from the Plate to Elite Division. I have to change their mindset, that they are not merely participating in an event but they are competing to get better.”

First things first, Bishan says, the facilities at the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium are pretty good and he was pleased with the basic infrastructure.

“In my interaction with the officials and the ground staff, I found that they have a clear idea of the basic requirements. The pitch is good with an even bounce and the ball had a decent carry to wicketkeeper waist-high. I am pleased with their work.”

Bedi realises the enormous responsibility on his shoulders and he has started looking for a support staff, good professionals to assist him. He might go in for two assistant coaches, a trainer and a physio.

He will also have a free hand in selection of the team, co-ordinating with chief selector Abdul Rauf, a feared fast bowler of his time.

“I have three months from August 1 to prepare the Ranji Trophy team, though the junior events start in October. Just as the Punjab boys responded, I expect the boys here too will respond to me. They are all well built and physically fit. Remember, it is going to be the Jammu-kashmir team so I will scout for good players from both the regions,” said Bedi who played 67 Tests, claiming 266 wickets, and 10 One-Day Internationals.

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