CRICKET: Manoj's academy shine in India

MP Cricket Academy members at the Raj Kumar College, Rajkot

MP Cricket Academy members at the Raj Kumar College, Rajkot

First published in Sport thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in horse racing. Call me on 01865 425453

The MP Cricket Academy, featuring several well-known Oxfordshire-based players, have just returned from a successful tour of India.

Manoj Parmar, director of the Thame-based academy, was joined by Great & Little Tew captain Andy Harris and his clubmates, father-and-son Phil and Curtley Slatter.

Also making the trip were Hiran Desai, Setal Patel, Pratik Patel and Ed Barnett, all of whom played for Thame Town last season.

They were joined in India by former Thame player Jaydeep Bhatti plus two locals for seven matches at the Rajkot International Stadium where England beat India in a one-day international in early January.

Parmar’s academy won five of their matches, including two last-ball victories.

They also carried out a free coaching session for 300 local youngsters, giving out 100 bats.

Parmar said: “It went fantastically well.

“Our main aim was for the batsmen to play against spin and to get mentally tougher.”

Parmar, who confirmed he will no longer be playing or coaching for Thame this season after 13 years with the club, is now concentrating on his junior academy.

He plans to enter sides in the Oxfordshire Cricket Board youth competitions at under 9, 11, 13 and 15 age groups, and the Aylesbury League.

And he said of Thame: “I think they decided they wanted to do it themselves, so it is their choice. They didn’t need my services.

“I don’t know where I will play. A few clubs have come to me and said ‘please come and play’.

“I can’t tell you the names, but I am waiting.”

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