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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.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Mithali Raj, admire her

Admire Her - Mithali Raj

Traditionally, cricket is regarded as a gentlemen’s game however there have been some massive developments in the game recently. Women’s cricket has been a hot topic of discussion today. People still think that women cannot play cricket but why not give them a chance to play such a beautiful sport. In India, women’s cricket is not promoted at all. People don’t watch it at all and even cricket lovers hardly know any names of players who represent the Indian Women’s cricket team.

Today I am going to talk about a player who fought against all such odds and is one of the finest woman’s cricketers India has produced. She is an inspiration to all young female cricketers who aspire to play for their country. She is Mithali Raj.

Early Life
She was a sleepy girl in her childhood. Her father wanted to develop in her the habit to get up early, so he dragged her along to her brother's cricket coaching sessions in the mornings.

She would casually pick the bat on the ground and hit a dozen balls on the ground. Jyoti Prasad, who was the coach, was impressed and she asked her parents to enroll her daughter under the training of Sampath sir. Sampath sir saw the potential in Mithali and asked for the trust and blind support of her parents in him as he was convinced that he could make her play for India soon .

Coach Factor
A coach is a very important person in sports and Mithali was lucky to get such a good coach in Sampath sir. He did not set the bar too low. He did not want Mithali to get lost in the academics maze and become an engineer or doctor due to the Indian mentality. He wanted to defy such mentality and to make her to become a professional cricketer.

He made her train like a racehorse. She missed many school trips and excursions .Her training got tougher and tougher. She practiced 6 hours a day. She sacrificed a lot of things for cricket. He made her train after sunset too at times as if she could see the ball well in the dark, imagine how well she could see the ball in the day. Mithali cried at times too after the training but if she had not trained so hard, she would not have played for India.

Unfortunately, her coach died in a motorcycle accident in 1997. Mithali lost an amazing coach who had shaped and influenced her life in a way she had not seen it coming. It was a huge setback.

Climbing the Stepping Stones
Mithali climbed all the stepping stones and played more and more cricket and performed better each day and fulfilled her dream of playing for India. Once she got into the team, it was hard to drop her. She was playing her heart out and her 214 runs against England in a test in 2002 cemented Mithali’s reputation as a formidable batsman. The senior players were awestruck by her confident stroke play. Her innings marked her coming of age. The knock catapulted her to another level.

By 2003 it was impossible to name an Indian XI without Mithali. She become the captain soon and has been a successful captain till today. Many young Indian cricketers like Smriti Mandhana and Veda Krishnamurthy find it as an honor to play with her. She has been a role model for many. She has made a name through cricket and if she can, anyone can. Impossible is just an excuse. It means that you lack the 3 Ds- Determination, Discipline and Dedication to reach where she is.

Parents Support
Her parents made sacrifices for their daughter's career – her father passed up a promotion because it would have meant relocating to another city when Mithali was first named among the World Cup probables, and Leela quit her career as a manager at an optical products chain to take care of Mithali.

She has even won the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri.

Promote Women Cricket’s
This year my friend and I had gone to see the ICC World T20 in the stadium in Mumbai. Before the men’s tie, there was women’s semi-final. We had a combined ticket for both the semis- men’s and women’s semis so we went for both. To my surprise, during the women’s tie, the entire stadium was empty. On such a big occasion, it was heart breaking to see that no one wanted to watch the women’s tie and the stadium was full in the men’s semis.

So I would like to conclude by saying that we should promote women’s cricket.  Think how you would feel if you are playing an important match and there are no spectators at all to watch to play on such a big stage. The spirit goes down. The enthusiasm goes down.

Cricket is a religion in India today and I don’t think we should discriminate between men and women in cricket. Just enjoy the sport.

In the words of poetess Brucellish K Sangma-
“I believe I can soar to the heights
Touch the silky clouds
and feel the stars

I believe I can dive    
Right into the depths
and swim with the sharks”

Impossible is just a word which is not in the dictionary of this woman. They believe they can achieve anything and we too should believe that they can.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Dhoni - A Inspiration by Jai Vanvari

Dhoni - A Inspiration
This article is very special to me and I have done a lot of research on Dhoni to write this. This article is dedicated to all the fans of MS Dhoni.
 “The Luck Factor”
Dhoni led India to the cup in World T20 2OO7, World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy 2013.

With him as their captain, CSK won have won 2 IPL titles besides qualifying for 6 IPL finals in 8 seasons.
Still people left, right and center call him lucky. Media called him- ‘lucky dude with flowing hair’ during his early years of captaincy. It is not just ‘Dhoni’s luck’ that has steered India to great heights. What has taken him so far is what he has got in him.

So I am going to talk about what Dhoni has got him today-

The Big A- Attitude
Hailing from a small town in Ranchi, Dhoni had to face many adversaries. The cricketing facilities in Ranchi were poor. Still Dhoni had the flair for turning his limitations into positive streaks by simply not letting them stand in his way.
“I believe in seeing the positive side of the story. For me, it was a time to rest and watch a lot of TV. Spend time with my family and friends and play with my dog.” - Dhoni commented this after missing out on the Asia Cup 2014 due to injury. Perception is very important in life.

M-Magnificent Leader
A leader is the one who stands by his teammates. Players like Mohammad Shami and Shikhar Dhawan had said that it is Dhoni’s backing that has enabled them to perform well.

He is a great motivator. He does not simply impact the game from the striker’s end but also from the non-strikers end but continuously giving his valuable insights and advice to his fellow batsman.  I see him in the team as a mentor to all the other players in the side. He knows how to shape young players and many players have praised Dhoni for his advices.

S- Self Belief
If finishing matches is a gunfight, Dhoni is always up for the task. He has proved time and again that he is the best finisher in the world. He is known for taking the game deep, not risking it early by going for a big shot early. He backs himself to get the team over the line in the last over due to his immense self- belief. If 15 runs are required in the last over, pressure is on the bowler and not Dhoni. His presence is only so intimidating for a bowler.

D- Different
Dhoni is way different from others. His mind works in a different way and that way is the winner’s way. We work hard on our muscles in the gym, but we forget about the muscles of our brains. They too need nurturing and Dhoni has done that.
Once Dhoni was asked to comment on the present ‘in-form’ players in the team. He replied – “Nobody has seen from. It is a state of mind where one is confident and thinks very positively.”
For decades cricketing world has used in-form’ and ‘out-of-form’ expressions but Dhoni dismissed it in a jiffy with a new outlook.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hosLnNMCGsM (7 Incidents When DHONI Fooled Opposition LIKE A BOSS With His Brilliancy)

H- Honor
He is a true gentleman and represents the spirit of cricket itself. He respects the opposition players and umpires at all times. If an opposition player is down with cramps or any other injuries, he even is ready to offer help. In the below picture, we can see that Dhoni was helping Plessis stretch his legs when he had severe cramps in a match against India last year. He is such a selfless cricketer.

O- Oh! Captain Cool!
He is very calm and composed on the field. His secret to calmness is his Point of View. We generally lose our mind when we are under pressure. However, Dhoni turns the table by viewing pressure as a given opportunity to prove his merit.
His extraordinary calm attitude gives him immense mind space to use his conscious and sub conscious mind to good effect.

N- Not giving up
Dhoni is a fearless fighter. In April 2005, India was playing Pakistan and Dhoni was promoted to No.3. Dhoni scored 148 runs from 123 balls. There was a lot of pressure to perform as he was a new corner in the side.
Questions might be raised in his mind such as -

  • Ø Will I be able to face the lethal Pakistani bowling attack??
  • Ø What will my captain tell me if I get out early??
  • Ø What will the media say??

He eliminated all such fear. According to Dhoni, fear is just an illusion of the mind which doesn’t exist in reality.
Dhoni deals with fear by acknowledging it. He then shoves it in a box and closes the lid of the box and keeps it aside.

I-Intuition or Gut Feeling
It is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.He is extremely intuitive and has always flummoxed rivals with his out of box field positions and bowling changes based on his gut feeling.

In the 2007 World T20 final, Dhoni gave the last over to inexperienced Joginder SharmA. In the Final of the Champions Trophy 2013, he gave the 18th over to Ishant Sharma who was having a bad day. These decisions looked crazy but they paid off somehow.

So, I would like to conclude that you should not like Dhoni but instead love him.

“Respect him, love him, admire him, inspire from him, adore him, learn from him and make your life better”.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Meeting a Champion: Brett Lee

Meeting a Champion

It is always a great pleasure to meet those people who made a mark in an industry. It is an amazing opportunity to interact with them and ask them their success mantra.  It is like a dream come true to meet these big celebrities.

Cricket India Academy gave me such an opportunity to meet a legendary Aussie fast bowler – Brett Lee.

Brett Lee has been an idol for fast bowlers all around the globe for a long period of time. During his playing days, he was indeed one of the fastest bowlers in the world bowling at 150 km/hr regularly.  The energy and zeal with which he bowled was phenomenal. He was capable of producing some lightning spells. Many people think that fast bowling is easy and involves only running in and bowling fast. But it requires a lot of physical strength. Just bowling fast does not get you wickets. Moving the ball around is also a skill. Many cricketers praised how Lee dealt with so many setbacks and bowled through so much pain. He had to retire eventually as his body was wrecked by years of feet pounding into the ground and arms slinging balls.

He suffered five ankle operations, a couple of bouts of surgery on his right elbow , back stress fractures , side strains and stomach tears along with the other daily aches. He endured a lot. His career showed that a lot goes into making a champion. His mental strength to come out of such injuries was commendable.  
When he was retiring he said- “Cricket has given me so many memories, so many great opportunities. I have been lucky enough to play for 20 years whereas most people might get a year or two. To play for two decades at the top level, I am really happy.”

Meeting him
I had completed 6 years with the Academy and was the first one to do so along with my fellow mate Parth. We had been in the Academy since the first year and we had grown year by year due the efforts of the Academy coaches. I enjoyed every bit of those 6 years. Cricket India Academy had given me number of opportunities to develop and I am thankful to them for doing so. The Academy was going to reward us with certificates for are achievements and we were informed that the certificates was going to be given by Brett Lee. It was a proud moment for me.

We met Brett Lee at St. Regis Hotel in Mumbai on 4th April, 2016. He had come to India to give commentary for the ICC World T20.  Unlike most of the celebrities, he was indeed very friendly and shook hands and spoke with everybody. I just loved the fact that he wanted to greet everyone present there rather than just give the certificates and run away.

He interacted with Parth and me for quite some time. He asked me one question- “What is the most important thing Cricket?’’.I was dumbstruck seeing him in front of me and I just could not think. I kept staring at his face until finally I answered “To Win”. I knew I was wrong. Brett answered that the most important thing was to enjoy the game. Winning and Losing are part of the game. Until one does not enjoy the game, one can never win. The satisfaction can only be achieved through this enjoyment. He congratulated us on our success and wished us good luck for the future. He emphasized the need to train hard if we ever dreamt to play for India. I even got an autograph on a small souvenir bat. 

It was great meeting him and from that day onwards, whenever I played cricket in the building with my friends, I made it a point to enjoy the game. I stopped worrying and thinking only about wining and it really worked. I felt satisfied after each match even after losing and I understood the value of his words. I thank him for that and I am really grateful for CIA for arranging such a meeting with a legendary player like him.

“DJ Brett lee,
  DJ Brett Lee,

  Everybody knows Brett Lee is a champion”

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Maxwell Revolution

The Maxwell Revolution

Cricket has come a long way from when 250 was a winning score in 50 overs. But now 250 runs is being made in 20 -20 cricket also and 250 is no longer a secure total in ODI too. The modern day cricketers nowadays have the fearless attitude to play their shots from ball one. They are not afraid to take their chances early on. This attitude has led to some mammoth totals being made which seem to be impossible in reality.

What are the chances of seeing, even in a T20 game, a reverse sweep being played by a batsman to a ball pitched way outside the leg stump? While this shot is lucrative at the back end of the innings, how many batsmen would be audacious to play it if with 10-15 overs left in the innings? Glenn Maxwell is one such player who is rewriting the rules of batting in the shorter formats of the game. He is a player who has shown so many times that he can take the attack to the opposition from ball one and often he has played the reverse sweep on the first ball he faces.

His attacking style of cricket has been controversial as it does not allow you to be as consistent and your stats on paper look really bad. It has indeed worked for Maxwell quite a few times but has led to his downfall many times and he was dropped from the ODI too for his inconsistency. You can’t play high-risk, low percentage cricket and score big regularly. But returning to T20 cricket for Australia, he shut the critics with a terrific hundred.

 Maxwell proved that cricket has been revolutionised completely when he made unbeaten 145 runs in 65 balls against Sri Lanka in a T20 match. Thanks to him, Australia was able to make the highest T20 score of 263. His innings comprised of shots all over the field whether it was down the ground or above the keeper’s head.

It was an amazing display of batting from the Aussies. It was definitely not easy for Maxwell to score this big. He was dropped from the ODI squad. There was lots of pressure on him to perform and more pressure was added when he was given the responsibility to open the batting. Moreover, it was his first game of the series in Sri Lanka and he lacked the experience of playing on Sri Lankan turning tracks unlike other players who had already played the tests and ODIs before the T2O series.

But beating all these odds, he went out there and played his natural game. Many a times when we not play our natural game, we often get out quickly. I will give my example itself. I am more of a player who likes to get his eye in, settle down and then play some shots.  This is my natural game. But when I don’t play my natural game, I fail most of the times. Same is with Maxwell. If you tell him to settle down and then play his shots, he will definitely get out while he is settling down as he has never played that kind of cricket. Many young batsmen should look up to Maxwell for his attitude. It takes a lot of courage to play your natural game every time even if you are being criticised for it. 

I would like to conclude of Maxwell that he is a gifted player with quick hands and amazing insight of the game. I would like him to continue playing cricket his way has only those players succeed who play Cricket their way being indifferent to what other people think or say about their way of playing. Chanderpaul has been a living example of the line playing cricket your way because of his unorthodox batting stance. 


This mammoth score again raised some questions about the imbalance between bat and ball. First only the big bats give the batsmen an edge over the bowlers but flat pitches like these, make cricket a batsman’s game completely.  But you should salute the bowlers for their big hearts. The bowl their best no matter they go for 7-8 runs an over in every match. Some competitive pitches can indeed spice up the game and lead to more fan following for cricket. Such pitches can lead to good contests between bat and ball and can lead to exciting matches. 

Friday, 9 September 2016

The Spirit of Afghanistan

The Spirit of Afghanistan

When you go to the field to play cricket, you need to have a positive mindset, a positive body language. Often when you lose a match badly or you lose matches on the trot, your confidence level goes down.

You suddenly start doubting your team and yourself. You just sometimes forget the art of wining. There is one point when you feel that we just cannot win. Your body language reflects this fact. But I know this one team which goes on the field every time with full zeal and energy. They are not afraid of losing. They just want to go out there and play hard but fair cricket.

They go out there with a nothing to lose attitude. They give it their all on the field each time and go down fighting in each game. They are one and only – The Afghanistan Team. A few years I did not even know that Afghanistan had a cricket team. But in the last year they have come up.

They have lost more than half of the games they have played and they still have the fire left in them. They play every game to win and have the ability to cause big upsets. The most recent one was when they beat West Indies in the World T20. West Indies played like champions in the whole world cup but took Afghanistan lightly. You just cannot underestimate them. Give them even a little chance and they will grab at it with both hands as “when a window of opportunity appears, you should not pull down the shade”.

Their journey from a non- recognized team to a very popular team has been a remarkable journey of resilience, hard work and team work. The contributions of Mohammad Nabi, Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari to Afghanistan cricket have been brilliant.

I never forget seeing the match of Afghanistan vs Australia in the World Cup 2015 where the pace duo of Dawlat Zadran and Hamid Hasan surprised the Aussies with their terrific bowling. Nobody would disagree with me on the fact that this pace duo has the capability to represent even top international team.

I think it is their spirit that makes them a splendid team. It is not easy for an associate nation to come out of nowhere and be ranked 10th in the ODI rankings and 9th in T20 rankings. They are a team which will come up in a few years and will be threat to the top international teams.

I have learnt an important lesson from them that we should not be afraid of losing. Winning and losing are part of the game. You just cannot always win. It is actually losing that teaches you much more than winning. Losing makes you analyze your mistakes and helps you to develop as a team. Afghanistan has gone through the tough phase and now are in a phase where they can make their country proud by defeating some top teams.

It is of course a long way ahead for them but they can make anything happen with their attitude. Attitude is everything in today’s modern cricket. I salute them for their spirit and I hope that they prove to be an inspiration for other associate nations like Ireland and Netherlands that if they can do it, we can do it do.

“Be Like Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is a fighter,
Afghanistan never gives up,
Afghanistan plays fearlessly,
Be like Afghanistan”.

Go Afghanistan and show the world what you can do. Enjoy every moment as you deserve it.