KATHMANDU, Jan 31: Two week after establishment, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) headed by national cricket coach Pubudu Dassanayake conducted U-12 Youth Program, a training program aimed at finding talented young cricketers, at the TU Cricket Ground in Kirtipur on Wednesday.
Altogether 332 students from 16 schools of Kathmandu Valley and Kathmandu Cricket Training Center (KCTC) attended introductory sessions on the first day of the program.
National team stars like Binod Das, Shakti Gauchan, Basanta Regmi, Gyanendra Malla and Sanjam Regmi as well as former stars like Raju Basnet, Dipendra Chaudhary and Paresh Lohani were there to teach cricketing lessons to the rookies.
"We had been talking about conducting programs at the grassroots level in the past and I think this program has materialized the idea," said Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) General Secretary Ashok Nath Pyakuryal, who was overwhelmed to see the huge participation on the very first day. "CAN will leave no stone unturned to make this program successful," he added.
Dassanayake gives instruction. (Photo: Bijay Rai)
NCA was established on January 15 to provide continuous training facilities to the Nepali national squad, Nepal A, Nepali U-19 team and women´s national team.
"The basic idea of the Youth Program is to pick as many players as possible and train them," said coach Dassanayake.
According to Dassanayake, former national team captain Binod Das will lead the coaching program for the U-12 boys and girls. "Until the month of May, we´ll run introductory sessions every Saturday and then we´ll pick the best 25 young cricketers," stated Dassanayake.
"The selected 25 will go through high performance training for three months starting October," he added. He said that the high performance training would be more organized and intensive.
Dassanayake said that he has asked national players, who are undergoing closed camp training for the upcoming ACC T20 Elite Cup, to spend a day in a week with the kids to boost their morale.
(Photo: Bijay Rai)
According to CAN General Secretary Pyakuryal, the training program is open to all. "Any interested school can bring their children and register them for the program since we are open to registering more children in the coming few weeks," said Pyakuryal.
NCA gets support
Meanwhile, Model Global Visas Consultancy donated Rs 100,000 to NCA on Wednesday. Managing Director of the consultancy, Manoj Pandey, handed over a check worth the amount to CAN General Secretary Pyakuryal at the NCA office on Wednesday.
"We always welcome such generous support from cricket loving people and institutions," said Pyakuryal and thanked Pandey for his support.
Shakti Gauchan with kids. (Photo: Bijay Rai)
CAN has assigned its secretary Thakur Pahari and members Kiran Rana and Purna Lama to support the NCA program.
"We are looking for sponsors to support NCA and in the meantime CAN will be supporting NCA," said Pyakuryal.