My Journey with CIA
The Journey Begins!!!
Whenever someone asks me why I play cricket, I always answer that I play cricket because I simply love the game. I never wanted to make a career in cricket and I never felt sad that I couldn’t. This article is the tribute to Cricket India Academy for giving me the best cricketing facilities to learn and develop my game.
My cricketing journey has been an amazing experience from learning to play cricket to ultimately playing for CIA team. It is not that only representing your country in any sport matters but the most important thing that matters is deriving happiness from that sport or taking something from it which would make you a better person.
Liking for the Game
I started liking cricket at a very young age. I loved watching cricket. When I look back at those times, I still remember watching the India triumph against Pakistan in the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup final with my grandfather. As I grew up, I started watching more and more cricket. Soon I developed a deep desire to play this game.
My building, packed with cars, did not have enough space to play cricket nor did I have many friends living nearby. I started playing cricket with my father who used to give me some practice on Sunday evenings in the building lobby.
Oct, 2009 – The Start
Playing more and more cricket with my father in the building had enhanced my love for the sport. It was in early days of October, 2009 that I received a pamphlet of the cricket coaching classes of Cricket India Academy in school. Cricket India Academy had tied up with Cricket Australia to provide young guns of India the chance to develop and showcase their talent at the club and school level. It was a pretty new initiative and very much expensive too. But somehow my father was quite interested to enrol me for these coaching classes to capitalise my talent and love for cricket. I was a bit hesitant but when I look back now, I feel that my parent’s decision was a golden one.
Introduction to Cricket
My first 2 Years of cricket with CIA were exciting. It was the time when they introduced me to cricket and made me understand the Game better. It is so important in a sport to learn the basics right and I think that the basics I learnt in those years were very crucial in the later years to come. In both the years I focused on developing on my batting, bowling and fielding skills. I learnt variety of basics from Over arm bowling, Batting stance, front and back foot movement to Throwing the ball, wicket-keeping, catching and ground fielding. I still remember those bowling drills (rock and bowl drill) that really were a pain.
Influence of the Coach
A good mentor is a must to succeed in life. We should not neglect the efforts of our coaches as they play a crucial hand in shaping us. The first year with Cricket India Academy helped me to find my dream coach. His Name was respected Mr. Rohan Bane. He was the one who trained me in the most difficult times when I was struggling with both bat and bowl. He saw the magic in my fingers (I am a off-spinner now). I did not get a chance to thank him for his sincere effort in training me as he vanished away from my life at the end of my first cricketing year.
Meeting the Australian Cricketers
Exposure is very important in cricket and CIA was the one that gave me the required exposure. CIA provided me the golden opportunity to meet the Australian cricket players who were playing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India. I not only saw them train but also played a bit of cricket with them. I got to play with Nathan Lyon, Philip Hughes and Moises Henriques.
It was a privilege to meet Philip Hughes and to bat to his off spin delivery. It is sad that a brilliant sportsman like him died while facing a short ball in a Sheffield match. He will always remain 63 not out in the history of the game. I still admire his cut shot and try to imitate it.
This was just the start of my cricket journey. Just imagine if this was the start, what other opportunities CIA gave me to grow and develop. In the upcoming articles, I am going to talk about some really special moments in my cricket journey. So don’t miss out on my next articles.
- Jai Vanvari
- Official Cricket India Academy Correspondent
(Diploma of Cricket Certificate Holder)