India's premier pace bowling foundation, the MRF Pace Foundation, entered into a historic five-year agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Tuesday. The foundation has over the years has contributed to the success of fast bowlers from around the world.
The BCCI will send current and upcoming pace bowlers to the academy to train under the Director of the Pace Foundation, the legendary Glenn McGrath. The bowlers will be split into 'elite' and 'probables' categories and the training will be imparted in batches.
The 'elite' group will include all pacers who have been selected by the BCCI to play official matches at different levels. There will a maximum of 10 trainees per camp and the duration of the same will be two weeks. The selected pace bowlers can attend the camp during all three visits of McGrath in a year between - January-February; June-July and August-September. The first such training camp began on September 1.
The probables category will include upcoming pace bowlers, as identified and shortlisted by the national selectors. There will be a total of 20 probables, all of whom will undergo training for a period of 30 days. These 20 trainees will be split into two groups (10 each) and attend the camp in May-June and July- August.
The MRF Pace Foundation has grown from humble beginnings in 1987 to establish itself as one of the premier pace bowling academies in the world. The foundation was the first coaching facility in the world dedicated to pace bowling and it is perhaps the only privately funded sport development initiative in India, which has continued un-interrupted for 27 years. During this period, the Foundation has played host to several legends of cricket, including Jeff Thomson, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Joel Garner, Rodney Marsh, to name a few.
Speaking on the occasion, K.M. Mammen, chairman and managing director, MRF Limited, said, "We are extremely proud of what we have achieved so far. Seventeen of our trainees have played for the country, taking over 2,000 international wickets."
"It has been a wonderful couple of years for me at the MRF Pace Foundation. I now eagerly look forward to working with India's best at the foundation. Our facilities compare favourably with the best in the world and I am eagerly looking forward to this challenge." said, foundation director McGrath.
Some of the bowlers selected to train at the foundation include Varun Aaron, Rahul Shukla, Ishwar Pandey, Ashok Dinda, Veer Pratap Singh, Deepak Chahar, Nathu Singh, Ankit Rajput, Anureet Singh, Shardul Thakur, and CV Milind.