Clarke takes teens under wings

When Aditya Sharma, a Class XI student of Aditya Academy Senior Secondary School, Dum Dum, enrolled in Aditya School of Sports a few months ago, he couldn't have imagined that he would soon be flying to Australia for a masterclass with Michael Clarke.

By Ayan Paul
  • Published 28.06.17
  •  
Aditya School of Sports students click a selfie with Michael Clarke at an event at The Oberoi Grand. (Arnab Mondal)

June 27: When Aditya Sharma, a Class XI student of Aditya Academy Senior Secondary School, Dum Dum, enrolled in Aditya School of Sports a few months ago, he couldn't have imagined that he would soon be flying to Australia for a masterclass with Michael Clarke.

Aditya is one of the 30 students of Aditya School of Sports headed for a 12-day training programme at Michael Clarke Cricket Academy in Sydney in the first week of July.

Aditya School of Sports and Michael Clarke Cricket Academy have joined hands for an exchange programme that will allow students at the two academies a chance to visit the other country and train there.

The programme was announced by Clarke at an event at The Oberoi Grand recently. "I can't wait to bring boys and girls from India and show them what it's like to play cricket in Australia and also the other way round. Young Australian boys and girls would also have a chance to visit Calcutta and see what it's like playing in Indian conditions," said the 2015 World Cup- winning captain.

Aditya was elated at the opportunity. "I have always dreamt of visiting Australia as I feel it's one of the most beautiful places in the world. Moreover training at Michael Clarke's academy is a lifetime opportunity for me," said the excited 16-year-old. The all-rounder has been playing cricket for the past five years and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. He has played in under-14 CAB tournaments twice and under-16 once.

Speaking about the tie-up, Clarke said: "When I started my academy four years ago, my dream was to give young boys and girls the opportunity to learn what it takes to play sport at the highest level. It's important to give everybody the opportunity. So anyone who loves cricket and is passionate about the game, is welcome to my academy."

The training programme at Clarke's academy "won't just be about the skills that one needs in professional sport". There will also be education sessions, media training, nutrition talks and a lot more. The students will be taken to destinations in and around Sydney for sightseeing. A visit to the famous Sydney Cricket Ground is also part of the itinerary.

Aryan Singh, another boy who will be going to Clarke's academy, is more excited about the fact that Clarke would personally train the boys and girls for two days. "I can't believe that I would get a chance to learn things from a legend like Clarke," said the Class XI student of Aditya Academy Senior Secondary School, Dum Dum.

Aryan has been training at Aditya School of Sports since its inception and the 14-year-old pacer's dream is to don India colours like his idol Bhuvneswar Kumar.