Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday announced his association with Middlesex Cricket to launch an academy for budding male and female cricketers between the ages of nine and 14. After his retirement in 2013, the maestro waited for five years before launching his own cricket academy. After announcing the association with the England based County club, the world's leading run-scorer in both tests and one-day internationals asserted that with the academy he is looking to take the venture beyond cricket's traditional pockets.
"Along the way there were many guys who approached me but I was not convinced with what they wanted to do. If we are to do something for young cricketers then we have to be on the same page, the vision has to align. With Middlesex, that was the case." Tendulkar told Reuters in an interview.
Merchant Taylor's School in Northwood will host the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy's first cricket camp from Aug. 6-9 while Mumbai will host one in November.
"It will be in India, England and other parts of the world. It's not necessarily just the cricket playing nations. There are number of nations where there is interest in cricket but they do not have access to proper facilities. The vision is to spread cricket to as many countries as possible," said Sachin over the telephonic interview.
Tendulkar said the fine print of the academy emerged during extensive discussions with Middlesex over the last 10 months and a final agreement was reached only when both were convinced.
The academy, which does not mention the word cricket in its name, will provide training through a curriculum developed by the coaches at the county and Tendulkar himself.
"The vision is not just to have cricket academies but along with cricket we want to promote other sports," said the 45-year-old, who has been conferred with India's highest civilian award 'Bharat Ratna' for his achievements in cricket.
"We want to build clubs all across the world. Clubs where you will have tennis courts, badminton courts, squash, table tennis, swimming pools, billiards... We want to promote sports across the world.
"That's why there is no 'cricket' in the name of the academy. I would say global sports centre. That is what the vision is."
(With Inputs From Reuters)