This time last year,Nitin Tanwar spent 25 days living with the Pathaks,a family of Indian origin based in London. Tanwar and two other cricketers stayed at their house,and travelled in their car to and from various grounds in London. These three boys won a chance to play club cricket in England after coming through a talent hunt organised by Coca-Cola. They first played for their schools in an inter-city tournament,before playing for an all-India team against a touring Sri Lankan side in Bangalore. From there,the best three performers were chosen for the UK tour.
The Pathaks,incidentally,run the two clubs that the boys played for,the Hall Club and Hammer College.
We played eight matches in 25 days and played different teams each time at a different venue, says Tanwar,who scored over 600 runs,including two centuries and three half centuries. The Pathak family took really good care of us and treated us like family members. I still keep in touch through Facebook and I hope I will get a chance to meet them again.
Tanwar’s wish might just come true.
This year’s Coca-Cola Cup has reached the end of its inter-city stage. Tanwar has once again made it to the all-India team,as captain. This time,they will travel to Sri Lanka for the second round. The best three Indians will again fly to another venue,which hasn’t been disclosed yet.
The flight could take them back to England again or,as the grapevine suggests,Australia. Tanwar,however,isn’t looking that far ahead. His aim for now is to travel to Sri Lanka and make sure that he scores well enough to earn himself another chance to fly abroad. Tanwar has just been adjudged Man of the Tournament in the inter-city leg,with 322 runs including two unbeaten centuries and as many fifties. He also picked up five wickets as a part-time off spinner.
Speaking of last year’s England tour,Tanwar says he had made adjustments to his technique even before he played his first match.
When I went to bat for the first time on an English wicket,I had prepared myself not to play forcing shots at the start. Unlike in India,I faced a lot of swing and adjusted to the tracks well. After I got set,it was just perfect to bat on. Since I am now scheduled to go to Sri Lanka,I know I have to prepare myself to play a lot of spin, says Tanwar. If I get a chance to be among the lucky three this time,it will be my second trip. Even if it is Australia this time around,I will be prepared for the pacey and bouncy tracks.