By Naila Inayat –
“All the boys get professional cricketing training and treatment irrespective of who they are and where they come from.”
Set in the picturesque Uttarakhand valley in the mighty Himalayas, a cricket ground comes as pleasant surprise in India.
The Abhimanyu Cricket Academy in Dehradun is providing state-of-the-art facilities to the budding cricketers in the area. It was established by Easwaran, a keen cricket enthusiast from Dehradun in 1995 to nurture young.
Easwaran, a chartered accountant by profession tells how wanted to be a cricketer but he couldn’t. “When my son Abhimanyu decided to become a professional cricketer I decided to help him making it big,” he says.
Seven years before Abhimanyu was born in 1995, Easwaran had launched National School of Cricket, the company that ran it. “The academy was not created for my son alone, but for everyone of his age.”
The venture of the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy, NSC goes beyond teaching basic cricketing skills, it strives to keep students up-to-date in studies as well. It is affiliated with the Asian School in Dehradun which runs under the umbrella of the B.S.E board. Besides cricketing infrastructure the school houses libraries and computer labs.
“The journey of ‘potential cricketer’ to becoming a ‘successful cricketer’ involves expert coaches, top cricketers, international level facilities and emotional support that allow him to become an accomplished sportsman. Every budding cricketer needs a ‘guru’, and surely all of them do, Abhimanyu Cricket Academy will fulfil this responsibility,” says Roger Binny, director NSC.
Ramakant Achrekar and Arshad Ayub have been associated with the academy at various stages, while the eight-man coaching team includes National Cricket Academy Level III coaches Rajdeep Kalsi and V Venkatram and Level II coaches Rajesh Tiwari and Manoj Rawat.
Facilities have been created for the players to make their journey pleasurable. “Besides academics, we have created facilities for sports like table tennis, basketball, swimming, tennis etc, which helps indirectly in honing the cricketing skills and at the same time does not make it monotonous.”
The library consists of books on cricketing skills, biographies of legendary cricketers, and other successful sportsmen and women from all arenas. By providing such enriching reading material it develops constructive reading habits in them. The library also stores videos and recordings of historic matches and performances of renowned players.
The facilities, further including five main pitches and four practice pitches, with grassy slopes for the spectators, international standard cricket grounds (like New Zealand and South Africa), floodlights for day and night coaching and matches, bowling machines, pavilions, underground water sprinkler system, pro vision for stump-vision cameras and snick-o-meters, pitch vision computer modelling for ball-by-ball analysis and simulation, sliding pitch covers, international standard sight-screens, automated rollers, automated grass cutters and latest sports equipment.
Apart from these, the Sports Complex at National School of Cricket offers: top-of-the-line gymnasium for cardiovascular and weight training, tennis courts, indoor swimming pool, completely air-conditioned bunk houses for boys, air-conditioned suites and rooms for visiting coaches, guests and parents. There is also an on-site kitchen and catering with international style cafeteria and dining spaces, health and medical care.
The writer is a Lahore-based journalist