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MUMBAI: The cricketer turned commentator  VVS Laxman  repined on the lack of attention to formative coaches. He said that the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) has urged the BCCI to shift its focus from infrastructure to developing a quality pool of coaches.  Laxman is a part of three-member CAC  that also includes Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

Laxman said,  "We never ever gave importance to Desh Prem Azad, who identified and nurtured Kapil Dev till he played for Haryana.  After that once you play at the highest level or you play first class cricket, you become mature”.

Stressing the matter that mentors are the base roots in any players career life and are more important than infrastructure, Laxman put the example of Tendulkar's coach Ramakant Achrekar, saying that the iconic batsman was developed by his coach and not by Shivaji Park, the ground where he practised.  "I believe that more than infrastructure, a lot of importance should be given to develop quality coaches and that is something, which we have recommended to the BCCI also," the 43-year-old said while addressing the inaugural session of the CII -- Sports Summit 207 in suburban Andheri here.

 Laxman told that whoever or whatever he is today,is just because of his maternal uncle and was fortunate that his uncle identified talent in him when he was young.”My uncle was my mentor. My maternal uncle identified the spark, talent in me and convinced my parents that I got a good chance of playing at the highest level”.

 In today’s world there is no lack of opportunities, we are lacking behind, in the way to get these opportunities. Maximum kids and our present youth is facing a problem to access a perfect guidance. I was very fortunate that I had wonderful coaches in the academy where I went to." Laxman, always remembered for his unbeaten 281 against Australia in Kolkata in 2001”.

He said all the players who you talk to, who have achieved excellence they will tell that there was a mentor or a coach, who was like an elder brother or a father. Sachin was not because of Shivaji Park (a ground in Dadar), Sachin was because of Achrekar Sir.

Former crickter Laxman feels, what is important at a present scenario, is to invest money in developing those quality coaches, rather than spending too much on infrastructure. It is good to maintain the stadium for the upcoming players, but will be even better to provide those upcoming players with formative coaches or mentors " the stylish batsman explained. The cricketer-turned-commentator also rued the fact that parents in India are still not open about their kids taking up sports as a career option.


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