Former India opener Gautam Gambhir gave a warm send-off to 15 of the 33 aspiring cricketers who bagged the first Funngage.com five-year cricket scholarship. These youngsters from different parts of India will now travel to Guildford Grammar School in Perth, Australia for 21 days to train under the watchful eyes of former South Africa batsman HD Ackerman, who is the director of coaching at the school.
The overseas training at Perth (Guildford Grammar School) includes visa fee, return airfare, accommodation, training, nutrition sessions, injury management and matches with local clubs.
The five-year scholarship for 33 cricketers also includes paid cricket equipment, medical support along with sports physiotherapy sessions, paid match fees for cricket matches and tournaments across India for a duration of five years and paid cricket camps by experts for continued exposure and training for the same period. The first batch includes the likes of 23-year-old all-rounder Tanveer Ahmad from Srinagar.
Ahmad was working in a multi-national company and had to juggle his working hours with regular cricket practice and M. Tech classes. Coming from a state marred by terrorism, Tanveer says that cricket will help him become a better role model for the J&K youth.
The first batch also includes Anuj Chaprana, who hails from a farming family of Meerut. After leaving home at the age of 11, Anuj had one dream in his eyes – cricket. Working as a night security guard in Chandigarh, mornings were always reserved for cricket.
“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,” Gambhir said about the initiative.