Cricket, as we all know is a commercial sport. Especially in the current scenario, when cricketers who are able to make a slight name for themselves are able to earn a handsome remuneration as the business has grown by leaps and bounds. But to achieve that, a lot of factors are responsible such as talent, passion, support, mentor and most importantly, money.
Surprised? As unbelievable as it may sound, the importance of a strong financial background cannot be undermined. The theory of “talent is everything” does not work in today’s practical world. Even in the beginning, money is required for coaching, equipment, travelling, food and matches etc. As everyone is not from the same financial background, it’s safe to assume that we are not at the level playing field when it comes to preparing kids to become future sportspersons. For obvious reasons, the well-off students have a certain advantage over the ones who are not.
But every problem comes with a solution. Now it not might solve the whole problem, but at least well begun is half done. AV Club is one such Not for profit organization that aims at training students and help them excel in the field of cricket.
Cricket Graph had an exclusive chat with Mr. Mohd. Atiq, senior coach, AV Club who shared the club’s vision and the problems in the current cricketing set-up in the city.
About the coach
Mr. Atiq is a well-known figure in Delhi Cricket Circles. He has played all major tournaments in Delhi and was part of Sonnet Club and Ajmal Khan Cricket Club in the past. He started his career as a full time cricket coach a couple of years back and aims at improving the way by which cricket is being played in the city. He believes in providing equal chance to all the players which unfortunately he did not receive when he was a player.
About AV Club
Formed in 2014, AV Club solely aims at extracting the cricket talent from the poor segment of the society. The club organizes tournaments that will help cricketers to showcase their talent and ample opportunity will be there for everyone associated with it. The club also has academies running at various centres in Delhi where students are provided low/free of cost cricket coaching. The efforts of the club have been recognized by DDCA as well. Mr. Vishal Thapa is the man behind the vision.
The club teams are playing tournaments all around the city and performing extremely well. The age category includes under 13, 16, 19 and open. The focus still remains on young kids.
Currently, AV Club provides coaching at 3 centres in the city- Greenfield School- Dilshad Garden, Raja Ram Mohan Roy School, and Vidya Jain Public School, Rohini. Very experience and qualified coaches are being appointed by the club. INR 1000/- per month is charged from students and if someone is unable to pay, that person is provided coaching without any charges, after conducting a background check.
Problems with the Cricket set-up in the city
Mr. Atiq had no hesitation in saying that the whole system is corrupted. He says, “Money talks, nothing else”. Those who have high level contacts and can bribe are selected into the team without much selection process and the deserving ones with no approach are left behind. Even the trial matches are of not of any significant duration to judge a player’s talent.
Secondly, Ground availability is a very serious issue. Most grounds are booked for corporates during the weekends and upcoming cricketers do not get enough time and place to practice and play.
Thirdly, most academies have admitted more students that a desirable limit. A coach should ideally manage not more than 20 students. Beyond that, proper attention will not be given to all students, thus will be a waste of time.
Mushrooming of Private Academies
There is no harm in new academies coming up. But DDCA needs to make a system by which these centres can be monitored. Less qualified coaches should not be allowed to impart training. Also, the charges levied by these private academies needs to be kept under check. They are charging such an exorbitant amount that this has become a business.
State’s cricket body needs to step up to address these issues and probably make a centralized system of grounds and academies so that private players cannot run on their own terms. It’s high time to change the way cricket is being organized in the city otherwise the performance of Delhi as a state will not improve in national tournaments.