Jeff Thomson, who was one of the most feared fast bowlers of his era, continues to contribute to fast bowling even after his retirement well over three decades ago.
Over the years, the Australian has honed the skills of many reputed fast bowlers, and the list is long and impressive. To name a few – J Srinath, Chaminda Vaas, Venkatesh Prasad, Makhaya Ntini, all have benefitted by tapping in on Thomson’s wisdom.
He has a word of advice for the pace bowlers – enjoy the life as a fast bowler and never stop being aggressive.
“You have to be aggressive. If not, then, you are wasting your time. Even spinners are aggressive now. I don’t like it when society says you are bad if you are bowling bouncers. If someone bowls two, then you are a bad guy! That’s a bad rule I feel,” said the 65-year-old former fast bowler.
Thomson, who has been recently inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, said the Indian stint so far has been enjoyable. He stated that it has been a pleasant experience to interact with Indian domestic cricketers. “The Ranji players from Karnataka came to me and asked, ‘What did I think before a match.’ I told them, ‘I don’t let the batsman play the way he wants. You need a plan.”
26 aspiring bowlers have started training at the Chinnaswamy stadium under the watchful eyes of Thomson, and two other coaches – Roger Binny and Raghuram Bhat.
“This academy is a pot of gold. It will help India in the long run in finding some fine bowling talents. More than the technical aspect, my focus here will be on developing the bowlers mentally and their thinking,” Thomson stated.
“This is a wonderful moment for us in KSCA to ink this deal with IDBI Federal Life Insurance to launch this bowling foundation with Jeff Thomson as the head coach. We have many talented youngsters in various age groups who are being nurtured. It will be a great opportunity for them to get groomed by some of the greats of the yesteryears,” said Brijesh Patel, secretary of the KSCA.
Andhra emerge champions
Spurred by centuries from captain and opener S Meghana (143 off 155b - 14x4, 1x6) and N Anusha (100* off 128b - 12x4), Andhra hammered Hyderabad by 179 runs in the final round-robin league match to emerge champions in the South Zone women’s cricket league (Under-23).
Opting to bat, Andhra suffered an early jolt when opener Jhansilaxmi was dismissed by Arundhati in the second over. However, a 268-ball 240-run stand between Meghana and Anusha ensured that there were no more hiccups for the team.
In reply, Hyderabad was never in the chase as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Medium-pacer Jhansilaxmi (four for 13) and leg-spinner Thalluri Mallika (three for four) bowled well to skittle Hyderabad out for a paltry 81.
Andhra finished at the top with 20 points followed by Hyderabad (12), Karnataka (12), Goa (6), Tamil Nadu (6) and Kerala (4).
Brief scores: Andhra 260/2 in 50 overs (S Meghana 143, N. Anusha 100*) beat Hyderabad 81/10 in 41.2 overs (Jhansilaxmi 4/13, T Mallika 3/4) by 179 runs.
Free cricket coaching camp for youth in Thalassery
The EK Nayanar Academy, a part of the Thalassery Sports Foundation, will impart free coaching to aspiring cricketers from March at the Thalassery Corporation stadium premises. The camp will be conducted through the summer vacation. Accommodation will be provided to those budding cricketers who come from remote areas of the Kannur district.
The camp, in which some prominent cricketers from the state will assume the coaching mantle, is mainly targeting Under-16 players. Initially, the camp will be on weekends but as the summer holidays sweep in, the camp will be extended to other days too. Thalassery has a long tradition as a cricket destination in the state, as many of the old time players and clubs emerged from this North Kerala town.