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By Karishma Goel
Two National Selectors from Florida visited the Northern Western Region to observe the region's cricket trials at the U-19 level.
"We expect that about 300 boys in USA will be observed by the selectors, which will give them great confidence when they pick the top 14," said Hemant Buch, the co-coordinator for USACA. Darren Beazley, CEO of USACA, constructed a new cricket development plan along with the youth committees from various regions. Sunny Singh and Barney Jones, were in the Bay Area as part of that program.
National selectors will continue to make appearances in the next five weeks to five different cities throughout the country that will cover the eight (erstwhile) regions. Fourteen players each from the western and eastern conferences will be chosen to face off in the Western and Eastern Conference tournament, Memorial Day weekend.
Vijay Pradhan, the NWR youth coordinator, first presented the plan to the regional board. Once approved, Pradhan worked closely with regional selectors, Ozair Nana, Khader Mohammad, Vijay Beniwal and Kulwant Virdi to come up with criteria for selection. The selection process took place on April 6 and 7 at the Clyde L. Fischer Middle School cricket ground in San Jose. A total of fifty-six players showed up, 8:15 a.m., sharp.
The regional selectors had players warm up by assigning various exercises on the first day. After, allotting each player a number to be identified with, the selectors divided the players into five different categories based on their skills.
The players were categorized as top order batsmen, middle order batsmen, wicket keeper, batting all-rounder and bowling all-rounder.
Commencing net sessions, each player, depending on their specific skill was given a chance to bowl, bat and wicket keep. Net practice was part of a circular-like motion workshop that included players fielding, catching and fitness drills.
"I think that this cycling-process was a very unique way of having each player run through all the sessions," said Satsheel Alterkar, a happy parent of one of the players. "It should be started as a routine in most of the practices held," he added.
The 56 players slowly diminished to 24 before lunch time, so that the national selectors would only have to concentrate on a certain amount of players.
The remaining 24, were divided into two teams, one which was led by Krishneal Goel and Arsh Buch as the other was led by Roshan Varadarajan and Vibhav Altekar. The two teams began playing a 25 over game, where national selectors came and watched as they took notice of all players.
On the second day of trials, the same 24 players played a 40 over game as national selectors took notes again.
"Entire process helped build momentum among youths and youth program organizers as now they have something to look up to and set goals for themselves," said Buch. "They should try something like this at the senior level also."