Emirates and Deccan Chargers nurture young cricketing talent

Tuesday, 17 April 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

With cricket fever gripping the India, Emirates – the Team Sponsor of Deccan Chargers - reiterated its commitment towards the sport and the country by providing lucky youngsters a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet their idols. The international airline, which serves India with 185 weekly flights, staged a coaching clinic in conjunction with the IPL franchise for a group of aspiring players.

A group of Hyderabad youngsters were thrilled as captain Kumar Sangakkara, bowlers Amit Mishra and Manpreet Gony - as well as head coach Darren Lehmann and fielding coach Trevor Penney – signed autographs and posed for pictures.

The youngsters – who were given T-shirts and caps - also had the opportunity to ask the cricketers questions about life as a professional player and received cricketing tips. In addition - during a series of drills at the Hyderabad Cricket Academy, Secunderabad - they bowled deliveries to their special guests and tried batting against them.

“Kumar Sangakkara is a great player and I will never forget having the chance to bowl against him,” said 13-year-old N. Vigneshwar. “He is one of my heroes and I can’t wait to try out the batting skills I learned from him. It is my dream to play in the IPL so being able to ask someone what it takes to get there was amazing.”

“As a kid, I always wanted to meet my cricketing idols and dreamed of playing with them,” said Sangakkara. “The children have a wonderful spirit and it was great to meet young players with such great passion for cricket. We all really enjoyed spending time with them and it was inspiring to see how eager they all were to learn new skills.”

“Being involved with sessions like these are always rewarding,” said Lehmann, who made 27 Test appearances for Australia. “It get kids excited about the game and helps cricket grow. You never know which child will grow up to be the next Sangakkara, Mishra or Gony so it is important to help develop local talent. To stir interest in the next generation is a tremendous feeling.”

The airline – an ICC Official Partner - has a long history of supporting cricket through its various sponsorships across the globe and hopes to contribute to the development of the grassroots game in India.

“It gives us great satisfaction that we are able to provide opportunities like these through our sponsorship of the Deccan Chargers,” said Mr Orhan Abbas, Emirates’ Vice President - India & Nepal. “We all know cricketers are idolised in India. Meeting a star player who only last week was on TV being watched by billions of people can have an incredible impact on youngsters. Hopefully it will help inspire them to become the best player they can be which can only be good for the future of the game in India.”