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In the zone – West

Satyajeet Bachhav finishes as leading wicket-taker in Col CK Nayudu Trophy

Satyajeet Bachhav, a left-arm spinner from Nashik, finished the Under-23 Col CK Nayudu Trophy as the highest wicket-taker, with 36 scalps in six matches at an impressive average of 18.88. Maharashtra largely benefitted from his form as they made it through to the semi-final of the tournament, only to be beaten by Mumbai on the first innings lead.

Bachhav had played Ranji Trophy cricket for Maharashtra a few years ago and returned to the senior side this year for the T20 matches. The good form shown in this season promises to propel him higher ahead of the next assignment later this year. 

Speaking to BCCI.TV, Bachhav said, “I worked on my accuracy (before this season). I also focused on line and length. My main style of bowling is to attack the stumps. My strength is to get the batsmen leg-before or bowled.” That work has paid dividends this year as he also bagged four five-wicket hauls. His best spell of the season came against Mumbai U-23s in the semi-final, but was not enough to prevent the opposition from progressing. Bowling first change, he took six for 193 while doing the bulk of the bowling for his team.

Left-arm spin wasn’t the first option for the bowler, who started off as a seamer. “I started playing when I was nine years-old. I was initially a fast bowler. During a practice match, my fast bowling wasn’t going well. I then bowled spin and that was good. My coach then told me that I should bowl left-arm spin henceforth. I started working on it and then pursued it,” he said while explaining the course of events that led to switching of skills. Bachhav also tries to do his bit with the bat as he strives to stay in the middle and fight it out.

Now, Bachhav is eyeing a spot in Maharashtra’s senior side for the Ranji Trophy. Coming off a good season, he would be confident of making it to the next level sooner than later. Also, playing T20 cricket for the senior side would have the young cricketer immense belief.

MCA to allow young cricketers a chance to watch WT20 warm-ups

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai is currently playing host to some warm-up encounters ahead of the ICC World T20, 2016. It started off with New Zealand taking on Sri Lanka on March 10. New Zealand will take on England on March 12 in the afternoon while India will face South Africa in the second match of Saturday. 

This is an important round for teams as they prepare for the premier tournament. However, this is also an interesting time for some of the young cricketers in the city.

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) announced that the school teams featuring in the Giles and Harris Shield along with Inter-College tournament teams will be given complimentary tickets to watch these warm-ups. “Interested Schools/Colleges shall bring a letter requesting the allotment of tickets for any one match day on their letter head. The tickets can be collected from the office of the Association from 09th March 2016 after 03.00 pm and shall be given on first come first serve basis,” the MCA released in a statement before the matches got underway.

The move would help young players watch some of the players that they look up to compete at the highest level. Watching their stars play in the middle is a great experience and the youngsters can learn from these encounters. Many cricketers have spoken about their first time watching a match in the stadium and its impact on them. 

During the first warm-up match in Wankhede, between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, the crowd was treated to some good batting by Colin Munro and Corey Anderson. There was some brave six-hitting on display at the Wankhede and followed by a practice Super Over. The fans had taken their seats in the stadium in the North Stand and enjoyed every moment of the game. 

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In the zone – North

Preeti Bose becomes first woman cricketer from Haryana to play for India

Left-arm spinner, Preeti Bose from Haryana recently realised her dream of playing for India when she made her debut against Sri Lanka in Ranchi. The 23-year old became the first woman from Haryana to play for the women’s national team when she took the field on February 19 in the last ODI of the three-match series.

While the India Women’s team swept the series 3-0, Bose made an impression by grabbing two wickets on debut. She bowled an exceptional spell of eight overs with four maidens while giving away only eight runs. “It was a dream come true for me. Living in a remote village of Haryana, I did not even have a clue that women can also represent the country in the sport. It was a heavenly experience to be sharing the dressing room with senior cricketers like Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur. I will work harder to retain my place in the team,” said the cricketer who hails from Sandal Kalan village near Sonepat in Haryana.

Bose learnt her early lessons in cricket when she was 17 after moving to Sonepat in pursuit of higher secondary school education. On the day she made her ODI debut, the cricketer was also hired by Northern Railways, which made it even more special.

Presently representing North Zone in the inter-zonal tournament for seniors in Guntur, Bose said, “I feel fortunate to have got the chance to play at India level. Getting a job on the same day was like icing on the cake. Now, my focus will be to raise my game further and maintain good form. All senior cricketers in the team were very supportive and helped me hold my nerve in the debut game.”

However, it was not easy to convince her parents, who thought sports was not for girls. Her father, Rakam Singh Bose wanted her to concentrate on her studies rather than pursuing the game. But the spinner defied all odds, and did well at the district and state level to make her presence felt. Thereafter, Rohtak-based coach Mahipal Singh took Bose under his wings and trained her to become an effective left-arm spinner. It was during the Challenger Trophy in 2015, where Bose caught the attention of senior cricketers and selectors. She played a key role in India Blue’s title triumph with a five-wicket haul in the final. She also finished the tournament as the highest wicket-taker with 11 wickets from three matches. Earlier, in 2013 she had also represented India ‘A’.

Bose, who has done her Masters in Yoga Science, idolizes former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori. After her India debut, she has become a star in her village and received a warm-welcome when she returned after playing against Sri Lanka. Her father and siblings are part-time farmers and labourers. “My family has now become very encouraging and supportive. The sport they were opposing has brought recognition and employment to me. I hope seeing me take cricket seriously, other girls from small villages of Haryana also get motivated and are able to pursue their dreams,” felt Bose.

HPCA promotes ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’ drive in the hill state

In its bid to promote and popularize the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) organized an event in Shimla. By doing so, HPCA became the first cricket association in India to promote ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’. HPCA President, Anurag Thakur and HP Governor Acharya Devvrat were also present at the event which was attended in large numbers by the people. The HPCA named their campaign ‘Swachh Himachal – Padhai bhi, Safai bhi.’

Left-arm spinner, Mayank Dagar, who was part of the Under-19 India team during the ICC Cricket World Cup, 2016 also pledged to the campaign. The launch event saw the unveiling of the Swachhta brochure in the presence of over 1,000 students and teachers from various educational institutions of Himachal Pradesh.

The campaign aims at creating awareness and understanding among the youth about the benefits of leading a clean, green and healthy lifestyle. This campaign will be driven throughout the state, across 12 districts, urban and rural areas. The initiative will be primarily led by youth hailing from school, universities, educational institutes such as ITI’s, technical universities, Yuva Kendra, Mahila Mandal, etc. According to HPCA officials, in order to motivate and incentivize the youth, various opportunities will be offered such as - interactive sessions and cricket clinics with renowned Indian cricketers, chance to watch live matches at the stadium, etc.

Speaking during the launch event, Anurag Thakur, President HPCA and Member of Parliament, Hamirpur, said, “HPCA from the beginning has been a community driven association committed towards the betterment of the society. The association has a history of serving the society by adopting noble initiatives which have impacted the society positively. ‘Padhai bhi, Safai bhi’ campaign is another attempt of the association aimed at promoting good health and sanitation in the state.”

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