Indian cricket’s greatest nursery finds place in Wisden
Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana have lost their places as leading cricketers of the year in the Wisden, however, one Indian coach has found a special chapter (pages 81-84) in the latest edition of the Wisden, the Bible of Cricket, which got released in London this week.
Irfan Sait, and his cricket academy in Bangalore has found a four-page chapter titled- Indian Cricket’s Greatest Nursery: In search of the new Kohli in the Wisden.
“It is wonderful feeling to be featured in The Wisden which is rightly regarded as the Holy Book of cricket. I wish to dedicate this to my staff at KIOC who have supported me and to my mother who passed away recently. Thank you Wisden for this Honour,”
Saif, speaking exclusively over telephone from Bangalore, said.
“We were truly fortunate to have the likes of Ian Chappell and the Late Martin Crowe visit us. Martin Crowe spent a lot of time with the youngsters and he was so very good. His advice to our cricketers was invaluable. Likewise with Ian Chappell. With Ian, not only the boys and girls but the coaches also learnt so much which they share with all the trainees.”
“Gary Kirsten came to our academy especially for Mayank Agarwal. However, I picked his brains at every given opportunity and I personally learnt a lot. His methods I realised were fairly uncomplicated and easy on the trainees.”
“We have 76 coaches apart from the experts who are visiting coaches. They come from all over the world. The number of kids at the academy is in excess of 2000. Most of them are on the weekend program while others have the advantage of practicing every single day. The first time the academy declared a holiday in 24 years was on the day my mother passed away,” Sait added.
“We have cricketers from age 5 until the pros with no upper age limit.”
Robin Uthappa, Manish pandey, Mayank Agrwal and several women cricketers who have played for India are / were being coached by Irfan Sait and MD Nasiruddin, whom Sait treats him as his lieutenant.
According to Sait, the current hot ones to be India’s new Virat Kohlis and Sachin Tendulkars are: Devdutt Padkkal and Shubhang Hegde. There are few others who are aspirants.