UP struggling at junior level cricket

Suresh Raina, who represents Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket is currently leading the Indian team in West Indies Getty Images

Kanpur: Jun 7, 2011

The state which produced proven international performers such as Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar and Piyush Chawla is struggling at the junior level failing to win a single all India event for the past five years.

According to the information provided by the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association, the reason for the trophy drought at the junior level is the large scale presence of private coaches, who have been grooming mediocre talent for hefty money.

Asked about the sorry state of junior cricket in the state, UPCA Director Jyoti Vajpayee said, “Even though the standard has gone down, the situation is not that bad either.”

But he admitted that the state is struggling to produce another Raina, who is currently leading the national team in the tour of the West Indies.

“The state’s sports colleges are also to be blamed because they no longer have the facilities that they used to have. The UPCA is now planning to have its own academy to groom young talent,” he said.

UP Ranji coach Gyanendra Pandey said talent drought at the junior level is having an impact on the senior side as well.

“We are trying to cope with the situation. We are relying on old hands because the younger crop is not that impressive,” he said.