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School pitches for academy

The first-ever cricket academy in Patna was inaugurated at St Xavier’s High School on Tuesday to allow boys and girls to have a go at their cricket dream.

The cricket school — Xavier’s Cricket Academy — has been launched in association with the Amikar Dayal Centre for Cricket Excellence. It would train girls and boys.

Amikar Dayal, a former Ranji player from Bihar and an alumnus of the school, was present at the inauguration.

“The purpose of the project is to provide young children specialised training and the chance to practise so that they are able to enter the world of cricket,” he said.

The academy has been designed to accommodate the St Xavier’s students as well as those from otherschools.

Aniket, a Class VI student of St Xavier’s High School, was excited.

“I am very happy as I want to be a cricketer. For the past two years I was in the basketball team but it is not the game I am interested in,” he said.

“I am overwhelmed because professional trainers and cricketers would train us in the academy,” said Mayank, another Class VI student.

Dayal assured the students that the facilities and infrastructure at the academy would develop in the coming years.

For now, the academy will train students four days in a week with the basic facilities, including practice net, pitch and trainers.

Concerned with the game of cricket being ignored in Bihar, he said: “I have a long list of players who are from Bihar but are playing from other states now. We have many good cricketers here but they are left behind in the race, as they don’t get facilities. They are not groomed properly as well.”

Stressing the importance of a few more Mithali Raj to come up, Dayal encouraged girls to take part in joint sessions or separate ones so that they are not left behind in the development process.