Young spin-bowlers in Warwickshire’s system enjoyed some tips from the very top when Harbhajan Singh visited Edgbaston on Saturday.
The off-spin maestro, who took 417 wickets in 103 Test matches for India, spent an hour in the Indoor Centre with 14 youngsters aged ten and 11 for an ICC Champions Trophy coaching clinic “Cricket for Good.”
His visit was designed to galvanise interest in spin-bowling among the youngsters – and there’s no question it was a case of mission accomplished.
To be able to spend some time picking his brains was a massive thrill for the ladsPaul Greetham
“It was absolutely brilliant,” said Warwickshire elite cricket development manager Paul Greetham. “I said to the boys beforehand that they were about to meet a spin-bowling legend, a guy who is an absolute superstar in his own country.
“He has all the mystique and charisma that the great Indian spinners possess, so for him to be so generous with his time and advice meant it was a really special day. It was a fantastic hour and I think he would have done another hour if he could.
“The boys had a chance to ask questions and you could see the impact his visit had on them. He even had a bit of a bowl at a couple of the lads who can now say they have faced one of the greatest spinners of all time!
“To be able to spend some time picking his brains was a massive thrill for the lads – and for all of us, to be honest. At Warwickshire we are very committed to bringing on the young spinners we have in the system and getting more in, so this was a huge help towards that.
“It was just brilliant that Harbhajan visited on the day that, down in Hampshire, Sunny Singh was taking his first five-for in first-class cricket.”
Harbhajan’s visit was the second ICC Cricket for Good coaching clinic at Edgbaston in four days following one in which Australian players Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Moisés Henriques and James Pattinson spent time coaching 20 children.
Cricket for Good is an ICC scheme in partnership with UNICEF aimed as using the sport to raise awareness of health issues impacting on children across the globe. Further sessions are due to happen with local school children at Edgbaston during the course of the tournament.