CHENNAI: There are thousands of children in the city who dream of playing in the TNCA league, which is the ultimate destination for an aspiring cricketer. With corporates and club secretaries having a say in choice of players, many youngsters have to wait for their turn.
Playing in the First Division and the revamped Second Division is a lot more tougher, as there are no zones. U Mukilesh, who has been doing well at school level, got to play for Crombest in the Second Division, and did well in the semifinals to help his team get promoted to the First Division.
The class 12 student is an all-rounder who bats at the top order, and bowls off-spin. “He’s a genuine all-rounder, with a flair for technique, and a decent off-spinner. He has shown vast improvement from his Vijay Merchant (U-16) days, and is fast emerging as one of the best talents in his age group,” said Shanmugam, his coach.
Mukilesh, who is passionate about the game, enjoys certain benefits. He can play in the TNCA league, as well as the Kancheepuram DCA league. He has scored almost 1000 runs for his school, with six centuries to boast off. He has also picked up 18 wickets, including two five-fors.
“I’ve done reasonably well for my school. Playing in both the TNCA and KDCA leagues has given me the opportunity to play quality matches throughout the year, which many players of my age will not get. This has enabled me to improve my game, and get to play for the state in the U-19 one-dayers at Baroda,” said cricketer who practices at the Little Hearts Cricket Academy.
“Judicious shot selection and playing effectively against bouncers are the areas I’m working on, for people tend to pitch short in the league because I’m a schoolboy,” said the youngster.
His grit and determination have earned the praise team owners Crombest. “We’ve not finalised players for Crombest next year, when we play in the First Division. But Mukilesh will definitely be part of our plans. He’s talented and hard working,” said R Rangarajan, cricket in-charge of Youngstars and Crombest in the TNCA league.
“I’m very excited and eager to know that I’ll have the opportunity to play First Division. I’m eager to perform and prove myself,” said Mukilesh, who idolises Sachin Tendulkar.
His coach believes he has it in him to excel in the Senior Division. “He has the game to play in the First Division. He could have played more matches this season, but could not do so because of his 12th standard exams. Next year, he’ll be in college, and can play in a more relaxed manner,” said Shanmugam.
Good at studies, the Vyasa Vidyalaya MHSS, Puzthivakkam, student wants to be an engineer. “Just waiting for my 12th results, after which I’m planning to do BE Computer Science,” Mukilesh concluded.
ICF Thrash RBI
ICF upset RBI 5-2 in a St Joseph’s CFA Senior Division League match here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Monday. Two early goals from Vijay in a span of ten minutes put ICF 2-0 up, but the comeback was on as Mukesh and Deen Mohamed Hanifa levelled up proceedings for RBI. The second-half was all ICF as Karthick’s Man of the Match performance and two late goals from Sathish Kumar and Ashok Kumar ensured a comfortable win.
Results: Senior Division: ICF 5 (Vijay x2, Karthick, Sathish Kumar, Ashok Kumar) bt RBI 2 (Mukesh, Deen Mohamed Hanifa).