Last month eight players and two coaching staff from the Glamorgan Academy embarked on a 10 day training camp in Mumbai as part of their pre-season preparations.
The trip which was organised and hosted by the Global Cricket School consisted of a number of net and middle training sessions and two matches against local Academies.
Having eased into the tour with a light fitness and fielding session on the first day, the players netted at the impressive MIG Club on day two. The team were provided with excellent net facilities and very good net bowlers to help with preparations leading up to their first game. The days were long and hot and the boys were physically and mentally tested by the conditions, but the boys coped admirably in the alien conditions.
On day four - the only non-cricket day of the tour - the players were treated to a walking tour through the Dharavi slum. The group found it harrowing to see the conditions the local people have to work and live in day-to-day but found it encouraging to see how much industry and business there was in the area. It was certainly an experience the group will never forget.
Day 5: Glamorgan Academy vs. Hindu Gymkhana Club Academy
The first game of the tour was against the Hindu Gymkhana Club Academy on a hot sunny day. With seven academy players and four local drafted in to make up the numbers the team bowled first and did well to restrict a strong batting team to 260 for 9 in their 40 overs. Batting second they eventually fell short by 60 runs but there were encouraging performances from Chris Matthews scoring 52 and Kazi Szymanski taking 3 for 46 with the ball.
Over the next three days, the boys hit the nets determined to work on their games following the loss. They were privileged to have Vikram Rathour, former Indian test cricketer, join them on the tour as a batting coach. His knowledge of the local conditions and how to play in them was invaluable. The boys worked extremely hard and all improved their games, particularly in playing against spin bowling.
Day 9: Glamorgan Academy vs. Air India Club Academy
After a long hard eight days the last day of the tour dawned with a game against the Air India Club Academy. Winning the toss and batting first, an improved batting performance saw the Glamorgan Academy reach a total of 215 for 6 in 40 overs with Chris Matthews again scoring 50 and Prem Sisodiya also getting a valuable 50. The opening bowlers then started well with the ball, with Luke Cheshire getting an early wicket, but Air India’s experienced middle order saw them home to win by four wickets.
Reflecting on the tour and its impact on the Academy players, Richard Almond, Head of Talent Development for Glamorgan CCC, said:
“The Academy tour to Mumbai was a great success. The passion for the game in India was unbelievable and our young players fed off that whilst they were there.
“It was an intense tour for the players, with one afternoon off for a cultural experience in 8 days of otherwise solid practice and matches. However, perhaps the biggest learning was from within themselves - learning to cope with all that was thrown at them whilst we were on tour."