Monday, April 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Kuldeep Rawat — A rising star on cricket horizon

New Delhi, April 7
You cannot hide one’s talent in a bushel. But in a “power centre” like Delhi, you need more than just cricketing talent to go places. Despite heavy odds, if the son of a humble tailor makes his mark in Delhi’s highly competitive cricket set up, he must be exceptionally talented. And 18-year-old Kuleep Rawat is indeed a talented kid to make the powers that be in Delhi’s cricket to sit up, and take note of him.

This unassuming boy is one of the seven young cricketers who have been selected from Delhi for the North Zone National Cricket Academy of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

When Kuldeep Rawat joined cricket coach Ramesh Chopra’s coaching centre at Sports Authority of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, he was barely seven years old. But Ramesh Chopra quickly spotted the spark of talent in the boy, and over the years, he has shaped up remarkably well to make his mark in the highly competitive cricket circuit in Delhi.

A middle order batsman and medium fast opening bowler, Kuldeep has already represented Delhi in the Under-16, Under-19, Under-19 North Zone, Rest of India and Under-17 India team. He was a member of India’s Under-17 team who triumphed in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Asia Cup in Dhaka (Bangladesh) last year. Pakistan, Oman, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, besides India, were the participants in the Asia Cup.

He took 11 wickets in the Asia Cup to create waves in the tournament. He has been picked for the NCA on the basis of his all-round skill, particularly his immaculate batting talent.

Kuldeep had been shortlisted for the Delhi Ranji Trophy team this season, but eventually missed the bus just by a whisker. He was part of the North Zone NCA last year too and his brilliant knock of 92 against Central Zone cemented his place in the academy.

His fine performance in last year’s camp also earned Kuldeep a short stint in the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore where he had the privilege of being coached by former Australian Test cricketer Rodney Marsh.

The politics of Delhi’s cricket selection somewhat delayed Kuldeep’s debut in the Delhi team, but once he got the call up, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, to carve out a niche for himself. The 2000-2001 season was a watershed in his fledgling career, as it was during this period that he got to play all category of cricket in his age group, at the highest level.

In Delhi, it is extremely difficult for kids from the lower and middle class families to break into the State team. That Kuldeep Rawat has broken this ‘class barrier’ is proof enough of his latent talent.

“This boy has a very good cricketing mind. He knows his cricket”, says his proud coach Ramesh Chopra. Chopra said Kuldeep deserved to be picked for the Under-16 team on the strength of his talent in 1996, but he got the call only in 2000. And as they say, it’s better late than never, and Kuldeep is determined to make the most of the opportunities that come his way.

“Kuldeep has the potential to play at the highest level of cricket. What he needs is the right breaks”, observed Chopra, who has been training Kuldeep for the last nine years.

Kuldeep is now working very hard to correct some of the flaws in his batting pointed out by Rodney Marsh and he rarely misses his “net” sessions at Chopra’s cricket centre at the National Stadium.

The National Stadium Cricket Centre of the SAI, by the way, has produced a number of top class players, including India players, and if Kuldeep makes it to the top grade, it will be another yet another feather in the cap of this hallowed cricket centre.



Health Carnival Run receives good response
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, April 7
Over 5000 runners took part in the seventh Health Carnival Run organised by the Health Fitness Trust from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the Capital. Mr Amit Burman of Dabur India was one of the participants in the 3km segment.

Former Asian Marathon champion and director of Health Fitness Trust Sunita Godara, along with thousands of others, also ran in the carnival run. The run had segments like 10km, 5km and 3km.

Lt. Col Sant Kumar ran the 10km race and finished among the top 20. One hundred and fifty National Security Guards also enthusiastically participated in the races in their bid to gain new insights in keeping fit and healthy.

Sunita Godara said the basic objective of the run was to create the much-needed health awareness and necessary education for preventive measures among the general public, including individuals, groups and representatives of public sector, government and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).

Started in 1995, the health fitness run has carved out a unique place in Delhi’s athletic calendar.



National Stadium beat Madan Lal Academy
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, April 7
National Stadium Coaching Centre (NSCC) defeated Madan Lal Cricket Academy by eight wickets in the seventh All-India Stanford Under-17 Cricket Tournament at the National Stadium ground.

Scores: Madan Lal Academy: 170 all out in 39.2 overs (Rohan Sehdev 42, Dhruv Kumar 37, Abhiroop Basu 24, Rahul Deewan 4 for 36). National Stadium Coaching Centre: 171 for 2 in 33.2 overs (Jatin Pal 71 n o, Tushar Alekar 56, Puneet Bisth 21).

DDCA League: Mohan Meakin beat Kishan Ganj Gymkhana by one wicket in an A-I Division match of the DDCA League at the Delhi University ground. Scores: Kishan Ganj Gymkhana: 178 for 9 in 35 overs (Manvinder Singh 38, Mohd. Atiq 36, Kunal Lal 2 for 31, Vishal Chopra 2 for 33, Salil Obrai 2 for 35). Mohan Meakin: 181 for 9 in 32.5 overs (Shashi Kant 45 n o, Rajender Madan 36, Salil Obrai 34, Dinesh Yadav 3 for 27).

Food Corporation of India (FCI) beat Winsom Cricket Club by 43 runs in a Super A Division match at the Jamia Milia ground. Scores: FCI: 224 for 4 in 40 overs (Sanjeev Kohli 97 n o, Akash Malhotra 50, Pankaj Thakur 40, Sandeep Rana 2 for 33). Winsom: 181 all out in 39.3 overs (Naveen Asrana 77, Vaibhav Dua 57, Akash Malhotra 5 for 17).

Sports meet: An inter-school sports meet in seven disciplines will be held at various stadium in the Capital.

The meet will be organised by the Banarasidas Chandiwala Sewa Smarak Trust Society in collaboration with the Sports Authority of India (SAI). Lt-Governor of Delhi Vijay Kapoor will inaugurate the eight-day sports meet at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Monday at 10 am. Competitions will be held in athletics, table tennis, badminton, tennis, cricket, football and hockey. Over 2000 schoolchildren from various schools of Delhi will participate in the competitions. The competitions will be restricted to boys and girls in the under-19 age group. Secretary of the Chandiwala Trust Society Mr Bhuwan Mohan said the Society will organise similar competitions in other disciplines too for older age groups, and also inter-college tournaments.



TYCA sail into Sood Cricket quarter-final
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, April 7
Fine all-round performances by Ajit Chandela (3 for 20 and 55) and Kapil Mehta (2 for 42 and 48 n o) helped Trans Yamuna Cricket Association (TYCA) beat Chand Khanna Cricket Club by six wickets to enter the quarter-final of the 12th All- India Om Nath Sood Memorial Cricket Tournament at the Khalsa College ground in the Capital.

Ajit Chandela was declared the man of the match. Scores: Chand Khanna: 202 for 8 in 40 overs (Pankaj Joshi 74, Siddharth Verma 66, Ajit Chandela 3 for 20, Dinesh Yadav 2 for 32, Kapil Mehta 2 for 42). TYCA: 207 for 4 in 37 overs (Ajit Chandela 55, Ashish Sharma 46 n o, Kapil Mehta 48 n o, Vaibhav 2 for 23, Tony Singh 2 for 25).

Monday’s fixture: Delhi Administration vs Varanasi XI. In an earlier match, a remarkable all-round performance by Dinesh Yadav (3 for 3 in six overs and 31) enabled TYCA beat Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) by five wickets. Though Sunil Sudan, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, gave a fine all-round display (70 not out, 5x6, 4x4, 66b and 3 for 26), his performance could not help CWC win. Scores: CWC: 155 for 6 in 40 overs (Sunil Sudan 70 n o, Dinesh Yadav 3 for 3). TYCA: 157 for 5 in 29 overs (Kapil Mehta 42 n o, Dinesh Yadav 31, Sunil Sudan 3 for 26). In another match, Lal Bahadur Shastri Club entered the quarter-final when they beat Telefunken by five wickets. A blazing knock of 71 runs off 42 balls with three sixes and ten fours by Himanshu Mehta was the highpoint of Shastri Club’s victory. Himanshu was adjudged the man of the match.


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