Pune: Sachin Tendulkar made his International cricket debut on November 15, 1989. He walked out to bat one last time on November 15, 2013. The little master scripted another bit of history on Thursday as he attended the conclusion of the first part of Tendulkar Middlesex Academy’s (TMGA) Pune leg at the Bishop’s School Ground.
“Time really flies quickly, but my heart still beats for cricket. Being here on a special day is a great coincidence for me personally. I’m glad that even after so many years, I’m able to serve cricket,” Sachin said with a smile.
Three decades after making his debut, it is still evident the kind of passion he still possesses for the game. Sachin was in Pune on Thursday to attend the final day of the first leg of Tendulkar Middlesex Academy’s (TMGA) camp.
“Along the way, there were many guys who approached me, but I was not convinced with what they wanted to do,” he said.
“If we are to do something for young cricketers then we have to be on the same page. With Middlesex, that was the case.”
Sachin believes that grassroots training is a must to succeed at any level of the game: With talent identification at the core of the academy, TMGA provided opportunities for 12 children from Air Force station families, who attended the camp without being charged a single penny.
“We are taking care of the underprivileged children or some one who is talented but can’t afford (to pay). Free of cost coaching never will be deprived for them,” Sachin, who is a ‘Honorary Group Captain’ of the Indian Air Force, said.
The 45-year-old informed this programme will not be limited to cricket and will spread across the globe.
“It is just an introductory camp. In the long term, we want to associate with schools and colleges and build clubs for all sports. Club culture brings people closer. I have already said I want to promote all sports and not just cricket. This academy is global, where children will not have any boundaries and will get a strong foundation to construct something what they want,” the master blaster added.
Sachin spoke about the importance of good coaching at an age where one tends to inculcate good habits.
“We have got experienced coaches around someone with whom I have played cricket with and they done a magnificent job in their careers. So, their experience is going to matter. Coaching methods are going to be at the highest level. Level 4 coaches have also been flown in and to understand their methodology is critical. The four-day camp will give them exposure and make them understand more about the game,” Sachin concluded.
TMGA short notes
One of the coaches at the academy, former England player Nick Compton, was very impressed with the abilities of the kids at the camps and singled out Ananya Kulkarni as the one to look out for in the future.
Spot registrations for the second leg of the Pune camp are available. The camp will be held at the Bishop’s School Ground in Pune Cantonment from November 17 to 20.