Ace cricketer Irfan Pathan, who has taken over as coach cum mentor of Jammu and Kashmir cricket team, on Thursday kick started talent hunt here.
Pathan who was roped in by Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association as mentor-cum-coach arrived in Srinagar earlier this week and held selections in north Kashmir, south Kashmir and central Kashmir. The shortlisted players were then called in for selection process that is being monitored and held by Irfan Pathan himself.
The selected under-14, 16, 19 and 23 age groups players from far flung areas arrived in Srinagar on Thursday for a two-day selection process. Irfan started process with under-23 level cricketers. He monitored and mentored each and every player in the group till all the cricketers were given enough chances to exhibit their talent. He gave tips to the players to fine tune their skills while they were performing in the nets. Star cricketer of J&K Parvez Rasool also joined the players in the nets.
After the end of first session Pathan asked all the shortlisted players to work hard in order to achieve their dreams.
"I am happy to see such a raw talent. My only suggestion to all of you that there is no substitute to hard work ," Pathan said.
Referring to the success of a Pakistan bowling legend Wasim Akram, Pathan said, "All of you may have seen Wasim Akram bowling those lethal, accurate Yorkers. But hardly anyone among you knows the hardwork behind that. To make only his Yorkers work in the match, Wasim bhai used to practice only Yorkers for around one and half hour in nets. It is only about Yorkers and one can himself imagine what type of training schedule the top cricketers follow".
Emphasizing on the maintaining the highest level of fitness he said, "In modern day cricket, having top skills only without being at your best in fitness is not going to work. One has to take care of his fitness levels at every age group. It also helps whether you are a bowler or batsman".
Pathan is going to watch U-14, 16, 190 and 23 level cricketers during two-day talent hunt before shortlisting players for the training camp that would held under him at cricket stadium. Pathan is on a one year contract with JKCA and during this time he would represent J&K in Ranji circuit as a player apart from mentoring all age group cricketers.