Shillong, March 20, 2017: Previously, Cricket in the state did not have adequate professional guidance and coaching in Shillong. However, there is hope for young dreamers from Shillong who hope to make it big in the cricketing arena, as the Shillong Cricket Academy has been professionally guiding and gearing up our young athletes for the big leagues for the last four years.
The Academy is an offshoot of the 79 year old Shillong Cricket Association, headquartered in Shillong. Pertaining to the brief history of the Association, it was inducted to the Assam Cricket Association under the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) on November 30 1947 till Meghalaya was given an affiliate membership by BCCI in 2008.
The intention of the Shillong Cricket Association to start the Academy was with the vision to nurture and groom young talent in the city as well as the state to be able to make it to various levels of professionalism in Cricket.
Chitrak Mitra, Vice President of the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) formally inaugurated the Academy on June2, 2012 at the Polo Cricket ground. However, classes started prior to the formal inauguration on the April 28, 2012. The full- fledged Academy imparts skills and expertise for both boys and girls ranging from the age group of 10 to 14 years. There has been a huge response from the state as 213 enrolled in the Academy for the year 2016-17 along with 122 students within the age group of 8-10 years.
The Academy is flouring through the guidance of Peter J Lamare, its NIS coach as well as Technical Director who impart basic principles as well as all round development for these youngsters. The professional skills imparted by the Coaches, trainers and resource persons are also catalysed through state of the art facilities like a Large Ground, netted concrete and turf pitches, a gymnasium, bowling machine, video analysis of their performance, tournaments, exposure tours with regular visits to Guwahati and Kolkata by various academies. Recently, they were taken for an exposure trip to Telangana in the year 2015.
In a statement to the press Gideon Kharkongor; Managing Director and General Secretary of SCA said, “The Mission of the Academy is to provide young aspiring cricketers with the necessary skills and to impart in them the spirit of sportsmanship and discipline in life.” He also said that the Academy intends to provide an environment where these young sportsmen can improve their cricketing prowess as well as their general life skills.
Kharkongor asserted that the Academy provides excellent opportunities to their trainees where they can develop new skills and grow holistically in each segment through diet control, physical maintenance through training besides cricket routines as per the BCCI schedule.
The Academy through its 10 qualified coaches has had a good pass out rate with players excelling in their field in various tournaments.
Ishant Singhania, a young trainee who likes every training session says that he enjoys every moment of his training longs to be another Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin.
“We have been taught how to grip the bat and how our batting stance should be improved apart from back foot defence, front foot drive, square cut, sweep and pull,” the young Ishant said.
Ishant who aspires to be another Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin says that he strikes a balance between his acedemics and the training which make his family happy.
The Academy is also seeing a food response from the girls and it is inspiring to see on such example of Bhokima Prasad who has been keen on improving her skills for over a year at the Academy. She initially wanted to be a dancer but her only passion now solely is cricket. The all-rounder is striving hard to become a cricket player like Virat Kohli.
Image Source: representational from the Internet