Cricket is often aptly called the most favorite sport in India as most of the population in this country has an inherent affiliation to this game. Relentless in its pursuit to identify and highlight hidden prodigies in this game, the Mainland-Sambaran Cricket Academy in Kolkata has made a distinct mark as a cradle for budding cricketers. On 2nd of August the academy felicitated the champions of 2013 CAB Junior Cricket Trophy ‘Under-17’ at Mainland China Restaurant at Gurusaday Dutta Road, Kolkata. The event was marked with the presence of former National Selector Sambaran Banerjee, Anjan Chatterjee, Chairman and Managing Director, Speciality Restaurants Limited, Cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Manoj Tewari, actor Abir Chatterjee and former footballer and football coach P.K. Banerjee.
India team Cricketer Sourav Ganguly, Kolkata’s very own ‘Dada’ was supposed to be present at the event but ultimately could not attend the ceremony due to some obvious and personal reasons. However, the sorrow that Dada’s absence caused was soon warded off when the budding cricketers were felicitated with cricket bats by Anjan Chatterjee. The event provided a unique opportunity to see a number of budding cricketers, probably the bests of the future, in a single frame. The already jovial mood of the event was even elevated to a higher level with Sambaran Banerjee recognizing the achievement of the youngsters individually.
Cricket is a gentleman’s game and Mainland-Sambaran Cricket Academy has been trying hard to take this game to all levels of society. Currently hundreds of children from different age groups receive regular training in cricket from coaches at the academy. India team Cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla remarked that Mainland-Sambaran Cricket Academy’s endeavor to make use of the latest technology like bowling machines to make training process easier and more realistic would help young cricketers a lot. Laxmi Ratan himself has been the captain of the Bengal team and has played in the Indian Premier League and the Indian national cricket team.
Manoj Tewari, another promising cricketer from Kolkata, interacted directly with the champions and even advised to aim for playing in Ranji Trophy or on international level. Manoj, who has been the instrument behind many of Bengal’s victories in national level tournaments, is one of the most successful cricketers of present generation.
P.K. Banerjee, a man in his eighties but whose charm matches that of a teenager, inspired the champions in his signature style. His presence alone was enough to inspire everyone but he chose not to remain silent and made a speech that can be the motto of every trainee sportsperson. Abir Chatterjee, one of the most successful actors of the Bengali film industry stated that though he was not a cricketer by profession, yet he could understand the joy of victory as he had been a part of many cricket teams in the past.
The felicitation ceremony of the young champions from the Mainland-Sambaran Cricket Academy has recognized the budding talents in cricket and is likely to inspire many more for a better performance. Those who were present at the event witnessed a unique ceremony from all respect.