Veteran India player and recently awarded with the honour ‘Padma Shri’, Gautam Gambhir and Funngage.com gave a warm send-off to fifteen of the thirty-three talented young and aspiring cricketers. The players have qualified for the cricket scholarship of 5 years and they will go to Guildford Grammar School in Perth, Australia for a 21-days of overseas training.
Last year in August, Funngage.com had launched FG PowerPlayer in the leadership of Gautam Gambhir. However, FG PowerPlayer is India’s First Cricket Scholarship. Meanwhile, this opportunity at Perth is going to be huge for all the aspiring cricketers as they will train under the guidance of former South African Test Cricketer, HD Ackerman who is now the Director of Coaching at Guildford Grammar.
However, all the 33 PowerPlayers have been awarded 5-year Cricket Development Scholarship. The scholarship includes the following:
Benefits of FG PowerPlayer Cricket Development Scholarship
- 5 years of fully paid cricket equipment
- 5 years of fully paid medical support along with sports physiotherapy sessions at Funngage’s wellness partner and hospitals across India
- 5 years of fully paid match fees for cricket matches and tournaments across India
- 5 years of fully paid cricket camps by experts for continued exposure and training
- Fully paid for overseas training (for topmost 15) at Perth, Australia (Guildford Grammar School), this includes visa fee, return airfare, accommodation, training, nutrition sessions, injury management, and matches with local clubs etc.
Trials and selection process
Since last year in October, the cricketers have been started a scientific process of assessing which included the video-based trials and held in 17 cities in 10 states across India. Meanwhile, both girls and boys have found the programme attractive and 5000+ aspiring cricketers participated in 12 to 24 years of age categories. The trials were held at the centre wicket of the ground where at least 5 High Definition (HD) cameras were making ball-by-ball videos of each and every cricketer and later these videos were shared with players on their Funngage.com account.
However, those videos were also shared with the panel of top coaches of Funngage.com as well for a thorough assessment. Each and every player got the detailed report card and assessment scores which highlighted their strengths and areas of improvements. The program progressed as follows:
- Stage 1 – Basic Skills Trial: 12-balls trials on the centre wicket with each batsman facing 4 bowlers and each bowler bowling to 4 batsmen and 5 HD Video cameras capturing the action
- Stage 2 – Advanced Trial: each player got to bowl or bat 4 overs on a turf wicket
- Stage 3 – Residential Camp: 14 days of training camp wherein each player got coaching, training, and got to play a minimum of 5 matches of 40 overs each
- Stage 4 – 5 Years of Cricket Scholarship: 33 aspiring cricketers selected for 5 years of Cricket Development Scholarship and topmost 15 were chosen to for 3 weeks of overseas training at Guildford Grammar School, Perth, Australia in four batches
*Overall Funngage.com is committed to selected 120 aspiring cricketers across the age groups and to send 60 to Australia for overseas training
Highlights of Residential Camp
110 (Age group 17 – 24) out of 5000+ applicants were invited for a residential camp at Funngage’s Meerut Centre, Neelkanth Group of Institutes (NGI). Under the guidance of Senior Coach Arun Bharadhwaj along with Jayaraj Samual, Biju Nair, Sanjay Bharadhwaj, and Manu Kumar, the players went through a conscientious schedule of training, coaching, fitness, and matches.
- Players were divided into 8 teams
- All eight teams played seven matches in a round-robin format with each player playing a minimum of 5 matches of 40 overs each.
- Matches were played at three cricket grounds in Meerut – NGI Cricket Ground, Victoria Park Cricket Ground, and Gandhi Bagh Cricket ground
- Matches went on for 13 days that included three matches every day
- The best players were awarded as the Man of Match and inducted into the FG PowerPlayer Hall of Fame
- Umpires from UPCA were engaged for transparent and credible decision-making
- Players were constantly assessed on the basis of their potential and performance and their stats were updated real-time Funngage’s website and mobile apps
Marquee experts during the assessment process
- HD Ackerman, former South African Test Cricketer and Director of Coaching at GGS
- Samuel Jayraj (KL Rahul’s coach)
- K. Barathan (Former BCCI Umpire and Ranji Player)
- Biju Nair (BCCI Level C and Ranji Coach)
- Dinesh Lad (Rahit Sharma and Shardul Thakur’s Coach)
- Sanjay Bharadhwaj (Gautam Gambhir’s Coach)
- Yajuvendra Krishnatry (Indian Railways Coach)
While talking to media about this programme, veteran player shared his excitement as he “always wanted to give back” something to cricket and what could be better than this wonderful initiative. “I always wanted to give back to the game which has given meaning to my life. With FG Powerplayer I am living my dream of helping young, budding cricketers in excelling at their game. Perth is a wonderful city to train at, and once these 15 cricketers come back, they will have a different outlook towards the game,” said Gambhir.
However, the founder of Funngage.com, Kavendra Karan Singh said, “We started this initiative six months back and now the first batch of 33 PowerPlayers have been announced, 15 of these boys are going to Perth for overseas training and we have a solid plan for the selected lot to develop into better cricketers. We are committed in our endeavour of providing a platform to these cricketers and with Gautam, we have understood the nuances of the needs of young cricketers. Hopefully, many more will participate in the coming years.”