Former World Cup-winning coach for India, Gary Kirsten’s institute is organising a nation-wide talent scout. This is the first of the nation-wide talent scouts planned by Gary Kirsten Cricket — online private cricket coaching and academy - in the months of April and May.
The talent hunt was held in Mumbai on April 23 and 24 and will also be held in Bangalore (April 28 and 29), Pune (May 2 and 3), Delhi (May 10-11), Chennai (May 14-15) and Jaipur (May 17 and 18). Gary Kirsten Cricket India will be selecting aspirants in three categories: under-14, under-19 and open category. Six players from each city will be invited to Pune for a weekend training programme in July.
The former South African legendary batsman Kirsten, who is currently part of the coaching staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore, reveals his academy plans in India in an interview with this paper.
You have been a successful coach in international and franchise cricket. How different will it be to talent scout in India and coach youngsters in an academy?
I would like to think it won’t be too different at all. All players have ambition and drive to want to be better. We are in the business of knowledge sharing and I would like to think my experience in coaching has given me the opportunity to now share valuable information with players of all skill levels and ages. India has some incredible talent and it is our mission to find players with potential, hone their skills and create champions of the future.
The leadership and coaching role has changed since you made your debut for South Africa. What are the current challenges you face as a coach?
There is no perfect way to coach and the challenges we face in our cricket business are more around being able to connect with players as quickly as possible and adapt to the different styles that come with coaching in different places around the world. We took our time before deciding to start our academy in India as we wanted to have the perfect partnership, choose the most central and apt location and have the right professional team on board to create a world acclaimed academy.
As coach of the Indian team and IPL franchises you have spent considerable time in India, will it help in guiding the youngsters better here?
I really enjoy India and its people and in many ways I hope the vast experiences I have been afforded in India will assist in creating an experience for all young players to grow with our new cricket business in Pune. Over the years, I have bonded with India and Indians and now relate very easily with them. I am therefore looking forward to building my academy here and personalising the training to suit the needs and requirements of the India talent.
There have been many coaching camps conducted in the past without much results. How will this be different and help budding cricketers cover the distance?
All players look for opportunities to improve and we look forward to providing a platform for young players to explore their games. We certainly do not guarantee results for anyone, but we will be providing a platform for every player who joins us, to give them the best chance to go and make a performance at all levels. I have noticed a lot of talent in India and I am confident that with our academy and the professionals we have on board, we will provide the most conducive environment for players to perform to their highest potential.
The training programme will be in Pune. Was there any particular reason for that?
We have formed a great working relationship over time with our partners, who happen to be based in Pune. We are excited to grow cricket further in the city and provide all players with a quality service. Also Pune is very well located and equipped with the necessary infrastructure needed. We also managed to garner the space and ideal location for our academy here.
Gary Kirsten Cricket scouts six finalists from Mumbai
The two-day talent scout conducted by former Gary Kirsten Cricket saw the selection of six promising candidates for further training. Held at the Mumbai Police Gymkhana on April 23 and 24, the talent hunt was overseen by head coach Ryan Van Niekerk and his team of assistant coaches.
Mumbai’s finalists are Ankur Singh (Yoshida Devi H. S. S. Laxmipur Deoria), Vilohit Desai (Lilavatibai Podar High School), Mokshad Vanjari (Parle Tilak Vidyalay English Medium School), Malhar Mane (Swami Vivekanand International School Gorai), Ryan Thomas (Thakur College), and Yash Salunke (Rizvi College of Art, Science and Commerce Bandra West).
Six players from each city will be invited to Pune for a weekend training programme in July at the newly launched Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy. Following this, three players out of the 36, will be given a scholarship for a two-month residential High-Performance Camp worth Rs two lakhs each.
India’s World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten will be exchanging notes with his team on the progress of the young players. He will be an intrinsic part of the High-Performance Camp.
“We’re delighted with the response we’ve received from the budding cricketers in Mumbai. The turnout was magnificent, and we’re further encouraged to take this across the country. It is so inspiring to see young cricketers with so much passion, talent and drive,” Kirsten said.