Winners to train at MRF Pace Academy January 3, 2008

Second edition of fast bowlers' hunt launched

Cricinfo staff

Javagal Srinath and TA Sekhar hope to unearth fast bowlers across India © Cricinfo Ltd

Gatorade has announced the second edition of its pace-bowling talent hunt in partnership with MRF Pace Academy and Cricinfo. The 2008 contest will look for two best bowlers among the Under-15 & Under-22 talent from more than 1000 schools, colleges and sports clubs across different cities in India, including Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Moreover, it will, in a separate category, include players who have represented associations in age-group tournaments.

The winners will win a training schedule at the MRF Pace Academy, which has been a conveyor belt of fast bowlers for the Indian team over the last few years.

Last year, three bowlers were selected out of 1350 participants. One of them, PK Dharma from Chennai, is playing for Tamil Nadu U-17, while Ravikant Sharma, another of the winners, made it to the senior Rajasthan squad this year but failed to make his first-class debut.

This hunt seeks to be different from other talent hunts as selection will not be based on speed alone and that identifying the talent will only finish half the process. The winners will train full time along with other students at MRF Pace Academy under TA Sekhar, the head coach, and Dennis Lillee. "The aim here is to identify talent that misses the state selectors' eye for various reasons," Sekhar said.

Javagal Srinath, the former Indian fast bowler, and Sekhar will judge the contestants as complete bowlers and not only on pace. From the contestants, two best bowlers will be selected in three categories, U-15, U-22 and U-22 professionals from each city, for the semi-final. The list will then be spurned to 16, who will go through a training-cum-selection session at the MRF Pace Academy.

The trials begin from January 4 in Hyderabad, while the last stop for the trials will be Bangalore on January 12 and 13. Click here to register.