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October 28, 2013
Venkatapathy Raju, the former India left-arm spinner, is currently on a 10-day visit to the UAE to help in the development of spinners in the country. Raju, now the Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) development officer for UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, and Thailand, is working with spinners at the Under-19 and senior level.
"It is always a nice feeling to work with the younger cricketers," Raju told the National. "I am available whenever any of the four countries are in need of my services. Most of the spinners know what they do at this level and my task is fine-tune them and work on the variations."
The U-19 side's next major assignment is the World Cup in the UAE in February 2014. The country will also host the upcoming World T20 Qualifiers in November, and Raju will be involved in training spinners for both events.
"The U-19 concept is the best thing to happen for the development of cricket at the grassroots level," Raju said. "It provides the young cricketers with the opportunity to play against different countries at an early age."
Raju, 44, played 28 Tests and 53 ODIs for India, taking 93 and 63 wickets respectively. Following his retirement from first-class cricket in 2004, he has coached Orissa and Hyderabad and also served as a national selector.
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