Just today in office, knowing my Calcutta club cricket background, one of my seniors who has a 10 month old child asked, which cricket coaching should I put my child in after a few years? Hah. Paragraph OVER.
Maybe it's an after effect of the IPL auctions, but nothing seems to have changed in Calcutta. When I was young, contrary to the belief that Calcutta is the mecca of football in India, every child went to a cricket coaching. Including me. After being in Pune for 4 years and seeing the interest there, I have said this so often, Calcutta is the mecca of ugly student politics and civic sense on the road, not the beautiful game.
Thankfully though, there is a bunch of young footballers coming up now, mostly (and not co-incidentally) from Delhi, who are giving it a shot to go play abroad. Why I say not co-incidentally Delhi is because I get an idea that there are schools and academies focused wonderfully on exposure and promotion of promise. That is so awesome to see. I am unaware, but obviously there will be other cities have great institutions focusing on non-cricket disciplines, and I look forward to seeing more of it.
Avyay Gujral had a trial At Man City if I am not mistaken, played for Anderlecht youth set up, been to Brazil etc. Raghav Khurrana plays in Canada now. Siddharth Mookerjee had short stints at big European clubs. Way to go!!!
Thanks to Porush Jain of Sportskeeda, I got the chance to have a chat with one of them - Siddharth Mookerjee, a 17 year old, showing immense promise.
You can check out the interview here. I thank him for the quick response, and with the interaction I have had, he is indeed a great guy. Wishing him all the very best. :)
A word here for Sportskeeda. This start-up is one to really look out for. Knows what it is doing, and it's focus on Indian sports, esp Indian football is heart-warming. Love them for it. Relentlessly trying to give Indian football its due, and doing a fabulous job. Big thumbs up for Porush and the team. It is not a shameless plug, these people are true sports and Indian sports lovers. It is worth supporting whole-heatedly.
India's playing the AFC Asia Cup btw, if we are over the IPL hangover. :)