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Cricket India Academy was started in 2009 by SEDIL to present comprehensive and structured cricket development programs.Leading the coaching function is Coach Director and former Indian international cricketer Pravin Amre. Cricket India Academy offers an exclusive Cricket Pathway, with a well-defined and progressive road map.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Kane Williamson - Serenity at its best

Serenity at its best

He is a humble and intelligent player. He does not worry and does not lash at criticism. He times the ball to perfection. He is a player whom opposition players find hard to combat. His job is to do it all, when situation demands him to do so. He is none other than Kane Williamson.
Batting suited him from the minute he picked up his first bat; he has the perfect height, balance, fast-twitch muscles, electric feet, and an inquisitive mind.
Williamson- A versatile player

With a solid defence technique, he is the perfect test player. The sound when the ball meets the middle of his bat is splendid. His ability to deal with pressure is amazing as he performs better under pressure. He has the gift of timing the ball. It is almost impossible to break his calmness and serenity when he is in the middle. That’s why he is a difficult player to deal with. Due to his humility and lack of ego, the opposition cannot resort to sledging.

He has all the shots in the bag. If you ball short to him, he can pull you or play the perfect square cut. He can pierce the ball through the offside with ease through his back foot punch or through his cracking front foot drives. If you ball even a bit straight to him, he has his wrists to flick the ball so easily in the leg side.

Revolutionary Player

Many people thought that Williamson with his solid technique is not fit to play T20 cricket. Many people believe that T20 cricket requires a lot of power and innovation which Williamson does not possess. However, Williamson has proved everyone wrong. He has revolutionised the T20 cricket.

Though he does not have the power, he has the rare skill of maneuvering the ball into gaps with minimum effort. He does not play unorthodox shots like reverse sweep, upper cut, ramps shots and he does not need it. He has all the orthodox shots in his bag and he knows how to use them to score runs quickly.

 But what I really like about him is that though he accepts that he does not have the game of a perfect T20 player, however he has the gift of adaptability. He has intelligently developed on his strengths and has used them cleverly in the T20 format. He has been able to score at a strike rate of 130-140 without having to play the big shots often. He is a busy player too and runs hard between the wickets as he understands the importance of each and every run.

He has just not scores runs, he has created masterpieces. Huge centuries, on a regular basis, came from a young mind that could see what no other around him could see. He has always had a deeper understanding of the game and a clear vision of where he is heading.

That kind of composure he has is rare. He always plays his innings over and over in his imagination. Therein lies the secret. To see it first.  To own it. Then go get it.

He is that player who the young batsmen today should look up to as he has played cricket his way and has succeeded remarkably. A bright future lies ahead of him and I hope he tumbles more records as he makes his way to the top.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

My Journey with CIA

The Journey Begins!!!

Whenever someone asks me why I play cricket, I always answer that I play cricket because I simply love the game. I never wanted to make a career in cricket and I never felt sad that I couldn’t. This article is the tribute to Cricket India Academy for giving me the best cricketing facilities to learn and develop my game.

My cricketing journey has been an amazing experience from learning to play cricket to ultimately playing for CIA team. It is not that only representing your country in any sport matters but the most important thing that matters is deriving happiness from that sport or taking something from it which would make you a better person.

Liking for the Game

I started liking cricket at a very young age. I loved watching cricket. When I look back at those times, I still remember watching the India triumph against Pakistan in the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup final with my grandfather. As I grew up, I started watching more and more cricket. Soon I developed a deep desire to play this game.

My building, packed with cars, did not have enough space to play cricket nor did I have many friends living nearby. I started playing cricket with my father who used to give me some practice on Sunday evenings in the building lobby.

Oct, 2009 – The Start

Playing more and more cricket with my father in the building had enhanced my love for the sport. It was in early days of October, 2009 that I received a pamphlet of the cricket coaching classes of Cricket India Academy in school. Cricket India Academy had tied up with Cricket Australia to provide young guns of India the chance to develop and showcase their talent at the club and school level. It was a pretty new initiative and very much expensive too. But somehow my father was quite interested to enrol me for these coaching classes to capitalise my talent and love for cricket. I was a bit hesitant but when I look back now, I feel that my parent’s decision was a golden one.

Introduction to Cricket

My first 2 Years of cricket with CIA were exciting. It was the time when they introduced me to cricket and made me understand the Game better. It is so important in a sport to learn the basics right and I think that the basics I learnt in those years were very crucial in the later years to come. In both the years I focused on developing on my batting, bowling and fielding skills. I learnt variety of basics from Over arm bowling, Batting stance, front and back foot movement to Throwing the ball, wicket-keeping, catching and ground fielding. I still remember those bowling drills (rock and bowl drill) that really were a pain.

Influence of the Coach   
A good mentor is a must to succeed in life. We should not neglect the efforts of our coaches as they play a crucial hand in shaping us. The first year with Cricket India Academy helped me to find my dream coach. His Name was respected Mr. Rohan Bane. He was the one who trained me in the most difficult times when I was struggling with both bat and bowl. He saw the magic in my fingers (I am a off-spinner now). I did not get a chance to thank him for his sincere effort in training me as he vanished away from my life at the end of my first cricketing year.

Meeting the Australian Cricketers

Exposure is very important in cricket and CIA was the one that gave me the required exposure. CIA provided me the golden opportunity to meet the Australian cricket players who were playing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India. I not only saw them train but also played a bit of cricket with them. I got to play with Nathan Lyon, Philip Hughes and Moises Henriques.

I even got the amazing opportunity to give Michael Clarke a drawing made by me.

 It was a privilege to meet Philip Hughes and to bat to his off spin delivery. It is sad that a brilliant sportsman like him died while facing a short ball in a Sheffield match. He will always remain 63 not out in the history of the game. I still admire his cut shot and try to imitate it.

This was just the start of my cricket journey. Just imagine if this was the start, what other opportunities CIA gave me to grow and develop. In the upcoming articles, I am going to talk about some really special moments in my cricket journey. So don’t miss out on my next articles.

                                                                             - Jai Vanvari
                                                - Official Cricket India Academy Correspondent
                                                             (Diploma of Cricket Certificate Holder)

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Modern Icon

Be Like Baz

Can you imagine batting to Mitchell Starc who is running in with a new cherry in his hand? Can you visualize a 145km/hr ball going through the side of your helmet?  However, what if instead of Starc dictating his terms, you dictate your terms by coming down the track. You might think is it really possible? Yes it is possible and today I am going to talk out that man who made such crazy things possible- Brendon Mccullum.

Crazy, daring, courageous, I don’t care what you bowl attitude, fearless, great leader, optimistic describe whom Brendon Mccullum truly is.... 

He defines the word Fearless. He just goes out there and plays his fearless brand of cricket. This approach to the game has done wonders for him. He expresses himself to the fullest during his stay at the crease. His ability to play with such freedom and authority is just fantastic. If you ask me, I would definitely not want to ball to him especially when he is set. 
To be honest, it is not easy to be fearless. It is a trait that I love about him and I hope I develop this fearlessness soon.

Most of his career, Mccullum was not a recognized player. Even when he took over the captaincy of New Zealand, he was still in that stage of his career where he had to prove himself. But since then, he has never looked back. The impact he has had on the cricket as a whole, especially the New Zealand team, has been remarkable. He has led the side like never before.

 Spirit of Cricket
Nobody had imagined at the start of the World Cup 2015 that New Zealand will reach the final with such a dominating performance. They did not have international stars like Kohli, Root or De Villiers. But what they did have was a leader like Mccullum. His aggressive style of captaincy and is nothing to lose attitude was a huge factor in New Zealand's run in the world cup. He proved the saying right that- "Attitude is everything". He brought the best out of all his fellow mates.
The best part was that though "he played hard yet he played fair". He showed sportsman spirit in every way he could. He made me realized that cricket is not always about winning or losing, it is about giving your best and relishing each and every moment. His sportsmen spirit clearly evident throughout the World Cup, particularly after their semifinal win over South Africa when he invited Proteas counterpart AB de Villiers and his side to the New Zealand dressing room after the match.

He is surely the fan favourite due to the entertainment he provides with his exciting stroke play. I cannot change the channel when he is batting. His shots surprise me at times too. His two great innings are my fondest cricket memories-
The first one was during the World Cup 2015 when he took apart the english bowlers- Broad, Anderson and Finn. He played it here and he played it there and made a blazing half century in merely 20-25 balls.
The second memory is of his last test match. It was a sad cricket moment has he was retiring after the match but he made sure that the fans were completely entertained. He made the fastest every Test century and it was an innings which I see repeatedly on YouTube with awe and excitement each time.

Remember Him
As he bade goodbye to cricket recently, this is what Baz will be best remembered for – the captain who changed his team, more than a great cricketer that fans adored. McCullum’s legacy will not be his performances, but his impact.

“Be like Baz
Baz is an inspriational leader,
Baz leds by example,
Baz is an agile athlete,
Baz is an enthusiastic leader,

Be like Baz”

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Tribute to the fans

Cricket has come a very long way. It has reached the heights of popularity in the recent years which no one could have imagined when it was first invented.
In this article, I salute the billions of die-hard fans of cricket for their spirit and enthusiasm to show up in large numbers in the stadium to support their favourite team. A sport is incomplete without the viewers and cricket should be lucky enough to have such a fan following throughout the world. The credit for the coming up of cricket goes to the fans.

As a player, when I bat and see my fellow mates cheer for my every good shot, I feel good. I feel motivated to bat even better and take my team to victory. If I feel like this, I wonder what the international players might be feeling when thousands of spectators cheer for them. I think that the cheering and shouting of the people give the players a morale boost to go out there and play their best to win it not for themselves, but for their fans.

This pressure of fans and their high expectations is the reason why we see some high level of competitive matches. Both the teams feel motivated to win it and thus play hard and bring joy to the spectators. I find it a privilege to witness a match in the stadium in which the tables turn every now and then and the match seems like anyone's game till the very last ball.

But at the same time, I feel that the fans should maintain a code of conduct. For example-

The Cuttack Incident
Last year, India played a T-20 match against South Africa in October in Cuttack. Put into bat, India collapsed for 92 runs. Angry and disappointed fans hurled missiles, mainly bottles, on the ground. The situation was intense and the police took control of the situation. However, when South Africa was cruising towards the total with 64 already on the board, the spectators once again started throwing bottles on the Indian players for their horrible performance.
 This kind of behaviour cannot be accepted. The fans are going to feel bad when their team loses but they have to accept the fact that winning and losing are part of the game. Their favourite team cannot win every time. The fans should instead take it in a positive way that their team is going to learn from their mistakes and come back strongly in the next match. Ask yourself-"Do you throw valuables when the team does well? When the team does badly, you have no right to throw rubbish."

Support cricket
Many a times I have seen that the home team gets 90% of support in the stadium and the visitors hardly get any support. As a player, I think you get demotivated when you hit a boundary and no one even applauds for your shot. Therefore, I would like the fans to support cricket at large and not just your favourite team. I would want them to cheer for every good shot, ball or piece of fielding even if it is from the opposition side’s player. I would like them to stand up and applaud for the effort of a player who played well but just couldn’t take his team home.
In the above picture you can see that SA hit 303. De Villiers made a brilliant 100. What I found amazing was that though an opposition player hit a 100, Indian fans got up from their seats and bowed down to that player. They showed their respect and appreciation for that player’s effort. This is what real cricket is - to respect the player even if he is from the other team. I was proud of these Indian fans. I hope all the other fans respect not only all the players but also the game at large.

                                                                                         Jai Vanvari
                                                                              Official CIA Correspondent

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Why Cricket

Why Cricket?

This is my first article for CIA and so today I am going to answer the question which is frequently asked to me- Why do I like cricket? What is so special about it?
For me, cricket is much more than just the battle between two teams of 11 players each. Cricket is about emotions, drama, excitement, thrill. The matches literally keep you on the edge of your seats. 
When I was small, cricket was the medium through which I connected with my grandfather. We used to watch all cricket matches together and I thank him for introducing me to this wonderful game which is at its best today. I have great childhood memories with this game and this is why cricket is so close to my heart.
I can tell you five magical words that make cricket so special for me-

C- Catches
Cricket has produced some fabulous fielders and I love the game due to the splendid catches being taken nowadays. Catches win matches and unbelievable catches definitely bring a big smile on my face and keep reminding me that impossible is just another word. It tells me that if I work hard on my fitness and fielding, these athletic catches are no more than a cakewalk. 
R- Respect
I feel that in any sport respect for the opponent and one's own team members is really important. Cricket is an indeed a Gentlemen's game and it has produced some real gentlemen like De Villiers, McCullum and so on. Their respect for their fellow players ,opponents, umpires and the commentators is why I love this game. Even the spectators too are starting to respect and applaud the efforts of the not only the team their supporting but also the opposition team.  
I- Inspiring
Cricket is all about inspiration. Kohli inspires me to have passion for what you do. De villiers inspires me to attempt the impossible. Steve Smith inspires me to make dreams come true and Dhoni inspires me to back myself. I don't think that without such inspiration I would have drived on in my life.
C- Calmness
When I think of the word calmness, I am straight forward reminded of cricket and the greatest captain of India- MS Dhoni. I desperately want to learn to remain calm in pressure situations and I thus always watch Dhoni carefully when he is playing. You can never figure out what is going on inside Dhoni's mind due to his expressionless face. Cricket is special for me as it has Dhoni and his calm attitude.
K- Kohli
Cricket is special as it has players like Kohli. Seeing him bat each day is an honor. He does not like cricket, he loves it and that 's what makes him so great. He makes each Indian proud everyday and he is the reason why so many people watch cricket. He has given consistency a new definition and his passion for the game is amazing. 

E- Entertainment
Entertainment is so vital for people today and cricket provides 100% entertainment. It is a game which brings friends and families together. The nail biting encounters ensure that you cannot move from your seat. I remember that during India vs Australia World T20 2016 match, only my father and me where seeing the match. But as soon as the match became interesting, the whole family was glued to the TV. Kohli’s fantastic knock took India to victory and we all were completely entertained.
T- Testing
Cricket is indeed a testing sport and if you ever want to test your patience and mental strength, you should try and play a test match. Test cricket is a format which can break you from inside. It can put loads of pressure on you. Even seeing a test match requires a lot of patience. Cricket is so challenging and competitive and it literally tests your character and moulds it.

                                                                                                                      - Jai Vanvari,
Official CIA Correspondent.