bcci.tv offered in: हिंदी Switch

In the zone – North

Punjab all-rounder, Abhishek Sharma eyes success at U-19 level

It is not every season that a 16-year-old amasses as many as 1,200 runs and also claims 57 wickets in a national level cricket tournament. Amritsar-born Abhishek Sharma has done just that. His extraordinary effort was icing on the cake as the all-rounder captained Punjab to a title win and helped retain the Under-16, Vijay Merchant Trophy.

“The season turned out to be very good for me. I took each match as a challenge that tested my skills on the field. I am happy that I could contribute to my team. It was special to win the tournament. When the team was felicitated by the state association, secretary MP Pandove told me to keep up the good work and focus at the U-19 level. And that is my aim. I would like to keep the good form going and train harder for further challenges,” said youngster while reflecting on the season.

After his success at the U-16 level, Abhishek, who learnt his early lessons at the famous Gandhi cricket ground in Amritsar from his father Raj Kumar Sharma, is turning in to a skillful cricketer and is considered as a talent to watch out for. Having impressed District (Amritsar) coaches and selectors, Abhishek has played for the District U-19s and senior teams even when he was just 14 and 15 years old. He has been included in the Punjab U-19 skills and fitness camp and has also made it to the Zonal Cricket Academy U-19 camp that will take place in April.

Speaking about the challenges lying ahead, Abhishek said, “I am just 16, I have a long way to go. Also, I am not in any hurry; things will happen when the right time comes. Right now my focus is to concentrate on delivering the goods at the U-19 level for Punjab and also the North Zone. I will work hard and see that I don’t lose focus. If I have built a reputation, I won’t let it go. Maintaining fitness and working on developing more skills would be a very important aspect in the coming months for me.”

A student of Class XI at the Delhi Public School in Amritsar, Abhishek is attending a U-19 state camp being held under coach, Munish Bali in Patiala. After that he will attend the ZCA camp along with Shubhman Gill, Mayank Markande, Akul Pandove and Rishab Bharat.

Harleen Deol to lead U-23 North Zone team in ODI inter-zonals



After a successful stint in the U-19 two-day inter-zonal matches, Himachal Pradesh all-rounder Harleen Deol has been named the captain of the U-23 North Zone team that will compete in the inter-zonal one-day matches. The tournament will be held in Raipur from February 16.

North Zone will take on East Zone in their opening match of the tournament. The 17-year-old all-rounder, who used to play for Punjab before shifting to Himachal for better opportunities, was the highest scorer with 209 runs in the U-19 two-day inter-zonal tournament held in January. While she opens the batting for her team, Deol, also bowls leg-spin and has taken eight wickets in four matches. Although, North Zone finished at the fourth spot in the tournament, she made an impression on the zonal selectors with her all-round skills which earned her the captaincy of the U-23 North Zone outfit for the inter-zonal tournament.

With plenty of grass on the pitches, the Raipur stadium ground is likely to assist the seamers more than the spinners. North Zone will bank on its seamers, Soni Yadav and Mansi Joshi to provide them with early breakthroughs. Meanwhile in the batting department, Deol and Taniya Bhatia will have to spend quality time at the crease and post big knocks.

“My confidence got a great boost playing in the U-19 tournament recently in Ranchi. I have been training hard and staying focused. This is a time to score big knocks and make my presence felt. I want to do well in the upcoming U-23 one-day inter-zonals followed by senior one-day inter-zonal tournament. It is also important to contribute with both - bat and ball these days and present yourself as a genuine all-rounder,” said Deol, who will be the vice-captain of the North Zone senior women’s team that will take part in the inter-zonal tournament later this month. The opener had hammered 116 runs against East Zone in the second innings of the match during the U-19 inter-zonal match in Ranchi.

Former cricketer, Navdeep Singh to be on-field umpire for women ODIs



Former Punjab left-arm spinner, Navdeep Singh has become the fourth umpire from the state to be a part of international cricket after Jasbir Singh, Dr Manjit Singh Mahal and the late Prof R C Sharma. The 44-year-old was the third umpire in the 1st ODI between India Women and Sri Lanka Women in Ranchi and will be on the on-field in the remaining two ODIs. He recently returned after umpiring in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final match between Mumbai and Jharkhand at Mysore.

Singh, who played close to a decade for Punjab has taken 128 wickets in 44 first-class games. He was a member of the Duleep Trophy-winning North Zone team in 1999 and is an employee with AG Punjab in Chandigarh.

Singh was earlier named the fourth umpire in the India vs Australia match in Pune in 2014. He has been a consistent umpire at the domestic level since 2008 and has so far officiated in 25 first-class matches. 

CommentsBack to article

In the zone- South

Thomson to guide aspiring fast bowlers in Karnataka

Jeff Thomson, who was one of the most feared fast bowlers of his era, continues to contribute to fast bowling even after his retirement well over three decades ago.

Over the years, the Australian has honed the skills of many reputed fast bowlers, and the list is long and impressive. To name a few – J Srinath, Chaminda Vaas, Venkatesh Prasad, Makhaya Ntini, all have benefitted by tapping in on Thomson’s wisdom.

Now, the young, aspiring fast bowlers in Karnataka will have an opportunity to pick the brains of this legend, who has donned the mantle of the head coach of the bowling foundation sponsored by the IDBI Federal Life Insurance under the supervision of Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA).

He has a word of advice for the pace bowlers – enjoy the life as a fast bowler and never stop being aggressive.

“You have to be aggressive. If not, then, you are wasting your time. Even spinners are aggressive now. I don’t like it when society says you are bad if you are bowling bouncers. If someone bowls two, then you are a bad guy! That’s a bad rule I feel,” said the 65-year-old former fast bowler.

Thomson, who has been recently inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, said the Indian stint so far has been enjoyable. He stated that it has been a pleasant experience to interact with Indian domestic cricketers. “The Ranji players from Karnataka came to me and asked, ‘What did I think before a match.’ I told them, ‘I don’t let the batsman play the way he wants. You need a plan.”

26 aspiring bowlers have started training at the Chinnaswamy stadium under the watchful eyes of Thomson, and two other coaches – Roger Binny and Raghuram Bhat.

“This academy is a pot of gold. It will help India in the long run in finding some fine bowling talents. More than the technical aspect, my focus here will be on developing the bowlers mentally and their thinking,” Thomson stated.

“This is a wonderful moment for us in KSCA to ink this deal with IDBI Federal Life Insurance to launch this bowling foundation with Jeff Thomson as the head coach. We have many talented youngsters in various age groups who are being nurtured. It will be a great opportunity for them to get groomed by some of the greats of the yesteryears,” said Brijesh Patel, secretary of the KSCA.

Andhra emerge champions

Spurred by centuries from captain and opener S Meghana (143 off 155b - 14x4, 1x6) and N Anusha (100* off 128b - 12x4), Andhra hammered Hyderabad by 179 runs in the final round-robin league match to emerge champions in the South Zone women’s cricket league (Under-23).

Opting to bat, Andhra suffered an early jolt when opener Jhansilaxmi was dismissed by Arundhati in the second over. However, a 268-ball 240-run stand between Meghana and Anusha ensured that there were no more hiccups for the team.

In reply, Hyderabad was never in the chase as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Medium-pacer Jhansilaxmi (four for 13) and leg-spinner Thalluri Mallika (three for four) bowled well to skittle Hyderabad out for a paltry 81.

Andhra finished at the top with 20 points followed by Hyderabad (12), Karnataka (12), Goa (6), Tamil Nadu (6) and Kerala (4).
Brief scores: Andhra 260/2 in 50 overs (S Meghana 143, N. Anusha 100*) beat Hyderabad 81/10 in 41.2 overs (Jhansilaxmi 4/13, T Mallika 3/4) by 179 runs.

Free cricket coaching camp for youth in Thalassery


The EK Nayanar Academy, a part of the Thalassery Sports Foundation, will impart free coaching to aspiring cricketers from March at the Thalassery Corporation stadium premises. The camp will be conducted through the summer vacation. Accommodation will be provided to those budding cricketers who come from remote areas of the Kannur district.

The camp, in which some prominent cricketers from the state will assume the coaching mantle, is mainly targeting Under-16 players. Initially, the camp will be on weekends but as the summer holidays sweep in, the camp will be extended to other days too. Thalassery has a long tradition as a cricket destination in the state, as many of the old time players and clubs emerged from this North Kerala town.

CommentsBack to article