Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is launching his cricket academy in a few months’ time at the picturesque ground of Gaikwad-Patil International School at Dongargaon, around 15 kms from the city. The legendary cricketer, who is regarded as one of the world’s best finishers of the game of all time, has already launched branches of his academy in various cities. Boys and girls in the age group of 7 to 19 years will get world class coaching from the experts.
Nagpur-based SGR Sports Academy has joined hands with MS Dhoni Cricket Academy and Gaikwad-Patil International School to start the residential cricket academy in September.
Announcing the launch of MS Dhoni Cricket Academy, managing director Mihir Diwakar, also a former India Under-19 and Bihar cricketer, said the entire coaching plan has been designed by Dhoni and he will also spare some time from his busy schedule to visit the residential cricket academy to share his experience with the budding cricketers frequently.
Diwakar, a former medium pacer, said it will be the fifth centre of Dhoni Academy in India. The Dubai franchise of Dhoni Academy has also been launched recently. “We have already started at Lucknow, Varanasi, Noida and Bokara but this will be the first residential academy. The trainees of the academy will study at the Gaikwad-Patil School and stay in their premises. We are looking to get admission of around 150 kids,” said Diwakar while addressing a press conference on Monday.
Diwakar, who has played with Dhoni for many years, said they will make sure everything is in order before starting coaching programme for the youngsters.
“The school ground is very beautiful. Ten practice wickets will be prepared and academy will have all the modern equipment. We will have an expert coaching panel to look after the trainees. Kids above seven years will be enrolled in the academy. To promote women’s cricket, the first 11 players will be given admission free of cost at the academy,” said Diwakar.
The chairman of Gaikwad-Patil Group, Mohan Gaikwad said, “We are thankful to MS Dhoni Cricket Academy for giving us this opportunity. As per their requirements, we will develop the infrastructure and in future not only cricket but we will also introduce other games at our sprawling 30-acre campus.”
Mohan Gaikwad added that the school has the hostel facility for around 400 students and initially they will have a five-year agreement with the Dhoni Academy.
Head of SGR Sports Academy Mangesh Raut said the academy players will be given opportunities to play the matches at national and international level. Head of cricket operation Sohail Rauf, Lavlesh Raut, principal of Gaikwad-Patil International School Shabih Chaurasia and Anjali Ruben were also present at the press conference.