'Pot of gold' IDBI-KSCA Bowling Foundation opens in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru, Feb 5: With an aim to find talented bowlers and nurture them, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, in partnership with the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), has launched a Bowling Foundation to be based in the M Chinnaswamy Stadium premises here in Bengaluru.

The KSCA-IDBI Federal Life Insurance Bowling Foundation was unveiled on Thursday (February 4). Former Australian paceman Jeff Thomson, considered to be the fastest bowler of all time, will be the Head Coach.

From left: Roger Binny, Vighnesh Shahane, Jeff Thomson, Raghuram Bhat strike a pose with their bowling actions during the launch of IDBI-KSCA Bowling Foundation

Describing the Bowling Foundation as a "pot of gold", Thomson promised to "show results" as he is impressed with the trainees. This is the second Bowling Foundation by IDBI after the first in Mumbai.

Already, there are 26 bowlers who have begun training at the Chinnaswamy Stadium under the watchful eyes of Thomson. Former India cricketers Roger Binny and Raghuram Bhat (for spinners) are the other 2 coaches at the Foundation.

"This is a pot of gold. We are looking for potential. This Foundation will help India in the long run. I love working here. It is a win-win situation and you will see the results," Thomson said.

"The Bowling Foundation in Mumbai has given me enough learning opportunity about the Indian conditions and what I stress on the bowlers to work upon. It has been an exciting experience with Mumbai and when I was offered the responsibility to groom Karnataka talent, I couldn't but accept the offer. My focus will be on their technique but, more importantly, on their mental strength," he added.

At the Foundation's launch announcement press conference, 2 talented Karnataka pacemen, Ruchir Joshi (16 years) and Shashank K. (17 years) were felicitated with the "IDBI Federal Life Insurance Frank Tyson Scholarship" instituted by the company. Joshi is a student of National Public School (HSR Layout, Bengaluru) while Shashank is from Mysuru and studies at Marimallappa College.

Both the bowlers have successfully represented Karnataka in the Cooch Behar Under-19 tournament this year. The promising pace bowlers who were selected by KSCA for the scholarship were presented with a cheque of Rs. 2 lakh each, at the event. 

Former Mumbai pacer and CEO, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, Vighnesh Shahane, said, "Having been a bowler myself, I fully understand that quality coaching is paramount to the development of any bowler. Binny and Thommo (Thomson) make for an enviable coaching combination at the Foundations for the pacers.

Brijesh Patel, Vighnesh Shahane, Ruchir Joshi, Jeff Thomson, Shashank K and Roger Binny

"Spinners too need proper guidance. I am confident that this development will prove to be a springboard for the future success of these talented bowlers. As they gain from this foundation, they will also have a positive impact on the Indian cricketing landscape."

Thomson who was recently inducted to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, will also select 2 fast bowlers to travel with him to Brisbane for a 3 weeks training in June - July this year for advance coaching.

"It is a wonderful moment for us at KSCA to be inking this deal with IDBI Federal Life Insurance for the launch of this Bowling Foundation with Jeff Thomson. With our constant endeavour to provide better training, we have many youngsters in various age groups who are being nurtured. To be groomed by some of the famed bowlers from yesteryears will be a dream come true for many youngsters", said Brijesh Patel, secretary of KSCA.

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