The next fast bowling sensation could be from our very own Pune,thanks to Gatorade,the sports drink that is highly popular amongst cricketers worldwide.
The ‘Gatorade Pacers 2009,’ the talent hunt initiative launched by the sports drink brand from PepsiCo portfolio,on Saturday,identified six promising fast bowlers in the zonal final conducted at the Cadence Academy,Mundhwa. The panel of selectors was led by Pandurang Salgaonkar,chairman of selectors of Maharashtra Cricket Association and a leading fast bowling coach.
The zonal round winners selected today in Pune in three different categories are:
Under-15: Ricky Bain,Kaustabh Bakare,Under-19: Tejas Salgaonkar,Ranjit Jagtap,Under-22: Sheikh Muneer Mustafa,Tanmay Suhas Deo.
The under-15 winners will be trained further at nets in the city while under-19 and under-22 winners will participate in the National Selection Camp to be held at New Delhi on Feb 3 and 4.
Salgaonkar said,”It is an excellent experience to see the enthusiasm and motivation level among the participants across the city to showcase their bowling skills in the competition. While I saw many there many good bowlers,I particularly found Muneer and Tanmay particularly promising. I wish all the zonal winners the very best for the national finals as well as their future careers.”
Speaking on the occasion,Javagal Srinath,former India fast bowler,said,”This initiative is special to me since,apart form presenting a great opportunity to deserving bowlers,it also inculcates the culture of sports science in the players at the young age; which I believe is critical if we were to make the progress from a good cricketing nation to a great cricketing nation. Optimal hydration is a strong performance differentiator once you have similar skill and fitness levels. We learnt this the hard way,I am happy initiatives like this are exposing young students,coaches and administrators to the importance of optimal hydration”
Gatorade Pacers 2009 was launched in New Delhi on December 1. After a month-long registrations across India for this nationwide talent hunt competition for pace bowlers,the zonal round received a huge response attracting as many as 493 participants in Pune. The selection process involved measuring bowling speed with a speed gun coupled with expert’s assessment of action,fitness,accuracy and potential of the bowler.
The hunt will now move to Mumbai,Chennai,Hyderabad and Bangalore before returning to Delhi on February 3 and 4 with 28 potential pace bowlers handpicked to go through a structured training-cum-selection session to be conducted by T A Sekar,Javagal Srinath and Gatorade Master Trainer Ms Nisha Verma at the Central Secretariat Ground,Vinay Marg. The national winners will receive an opportunity to be groomed by TA Sekar through structured training programmes and regular monitoring of progress for a period of 3 years.