Border-Gavaskar scholarship cancelled
The Border-Gavaskar scholarship programme, under which three promising Indian cricketers would visit Australia's Centre of Excellence (COE) in Brisbane every year, will no longer be offered as the sponsors - the Australia-India council (AIC) - have pulled out of the project.
"The Border-Gavaskar scholarship is terminated due to lack of sponsors," Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI's chief administrative officer told DNA. "They (AIC) have informed us and as it is not funded by Cricket Australia and BCCI, no players will be going."
The scholarship, which was introduced in 2000, was named in the honour of former India and Australia captains Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border and was instituted to strengthen ties between the two countries across a range of sectors, including sport. Since then, every year, three young Indian cricketers, nominated by the BCCI, spent six-weeks at the COE. Mohammad Kaif, Shiv Sundar Das and Sridhran Sriram were the first batch of players to receive the scholarship. Other recipients include Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli. Abhimanyu Mithun, who is currently part of India's Test squad in the West Indies, Punjab middle-order batsman Mandeep Singh and Madhya Pradesh's Harpreet Singh were the last players to receive the scholarship in 2010.
India middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara who received the scholarship in 2007, said the experience had benefited him greatly. "When I went to Australia, they were the No. 1 team," Pujara told Indian Express. "We learnt how one has to approach the game, their preparation was great. You would come across Matthew Hayden and others, who were practicing in other nets. What I learnt was how one has to prepare during practice sessions."
Shetty said the cancellation of the scholarship would not affect young cricketers as there were plenty of academies coming up in India. "We have batting, spin bowling, fast bowling and various other camps for youngsters now. We are giving the best of the facilities to our youngsters and there is NCA, which is doing a good job in helping this young lot learn better," he said.