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Fearless Cricket Fielding Drills with Chinmoy Roy

Soccer, the most global sport is highly body contact. Fear of shoving, collision and rough tackles has to be overcome.

Greats like Pele, Maradona and Messi were fearless in their teens when weaving past defenders with butcher like tackles. They shrugged off getting hurt in their early formative years. Gymnastic is another sport where some outrageous maneuvering of the body puts one under great physical danger. So a Nadia Comaniche got into the floor or roman ring at 8-9 years of age.

Cricket also demands conquering fears. Some 40 years back a Zaheer Abbas of Pakistan or Bishen Bedi of India would chase a ball to the fence and not mind seeing it cross the rope a few feet from them. Now watch the paradigm shift. A Ben Stokes or Virat Kohli in hundred percent of the cases will slide 8-10 feet away from the ball. A certain boundary is converted into twos or threes.

South Africa”s Jonty Rhodes turned sliding and diving into an art. Remember that epoch making run out of Inzamum-ul Haque in the 1992 world cup. Afterwards Rhodes inspired the new generation of cricketer in getting fearless and limitless on throwing their body around the park. Fundamentals of sliding and diving have to start early – that’s Rhodes’ matra. He is game for some bruising and bleeding during the journey.

Sub continental grounds throw a challenge. Major international and first class cricket grounds in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have relatively soft outfield. But the club grounds and local academies have hard bumpy outfield. The challenge lies there.

In this episode of Cricfit I present a talented 14 years old wicket keeper from Bengal. The dapper looking kid amassed 700 hundred plus runs in the premier school tournament of Bengal with a top score of 261. He is now in the Bengal state team’s list of probable. The kid, idolizing Wriddhiman Saha has a future.

Growing up on the rough outfields of Kolkata the kid dives and slides with elan. He slipped into this act from the age of 12. During the shoot he and I overcame immense challenges. In the midst of monsoon the grass was big. Covid and lockdown made it a double whammy. The academy is shut and unused. The surface under the grass was horribly uneven. Both risked injury. But we could take the odds head on since we are free from the fear of getting hurt.

The bottom line is: take the plunge sooner than later.