There has never been a time like now for Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association, with Mohammed Kaif, Suresh Raina and R P Singh all having played for India this year. The state has produced only three test players in the past 70 years. So, the emergence of fresh crop of international level players is surely something to smile about. "The boys have always been talented, but now if you perform, you get a chance to travel to various places, and get seen. This gives a shot at playing for India," says Kaif. R P Singh, who made his debut against Zimbabwe in Harare, is a product of a state sponsored cricket academy just like Kaif. It's been a major factor in producing a steady stream of national talent and has given a platform for kids from different social backgrounds to play the game. Gopal Sharma, a former UP and India cricketer, was the state's last test player before Mohd Kaif. Now of course he is a national selector, a coincidence that may cause some people to raise eyebrows but that would be totally unfair to the three very deserving players.