Cricket has future in the region: Raju

The Asian Cricket Council has appointed former India international cricketer Venkatapathy Raju as its new Development Officer.

By Liaqat Ali

Published: Wed 20 Mar 2013, 12:43 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:05 AM

It will be a tough task for him because he has to fill his compatriot Venkatesh Prasad’s big shoes. Prasad is well known for his cricketing knowledge and his services to the game will have a lasting impact on the development of the game.

Venkatapathy Raju at the Sharjah Stadium. — KT photo

International Cricket Council’s efforts to globalise cricket are bearing fruits as countries like Afghanistan have grasped the opportunity.

Afghanistan and Nepal have showed that the game have a great potential in Asia. China is another country which is the target of the cricket bodies. The game is taking its roots in the world’s most populated country.

Six Chinese national team cricketers will train in London this summer for 20 weeks, an official from the Capital Kids Cricket (CKC) said on Monday.

Shahidul Alam Ratan, CKC’s development head coach, said that the Chinese cricketers will play games, get coaching and get involved in school cricket programmess with CKC coaches.

It was the second time that the Chinese players will train here. Six players spent 10 weeks last summer with the support of CKC and Kids Cricket World (KCW), the reports said.

Raju who witnessed the one-day match between UAE and Ireland at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday said: “It is difficult to replace a person like Prasad but I shall try my best to help the game develop in the Middle East.

“The UAE has got cricketing infrastructure and if the youth gets proper guidance there is no doubt cricket has a great future in the region.

“A large expatriate community from the subcontinent has cricketing genes in them and they are ready to learn the tricks of the trade.

“Since Aaqib Javed (UAE coach) is here and he knows ins and outs of the game. We have played against each other and he will be a great help for me to uplift the standard of the game.”

Raju who played 28 Tests and 53 ODIs for India in a first-class career that spanned 18 years added: “The biggest problem faced by the UAE cricketers is the time. The players work form 9 to 5 and then go for practice in the evening.

“It is not an easy job because body gets tired during the office work. We are trying our best to find some sort of solution which may help to develop the game in the Middle East.”

The UAE is hosting U-19 World Cup in 2014 and it will be a big boost for the game in the region.

“It is a great honour for the UAE to host such a prestigious event and it is proof that game is developing in this region.

“We hope it will have a great impact on the growth of the game in this the Middle East.”

More news from Local Sports