Jack R enjoyed an incredible cricket tour to India with the Derbyshire Academy. This is what he had to say about his 9 days
India was an unreal experience which I thoroughly enjoyed. I went with Derbyshire Academy as part of their pre-season tour to Mumbai. The tour consisted of 9 days of high intensity training where I was hoping to specifically improve my batting skills against spin bowling. The conditions in India are very tough to play spin compared to England, therefore the challenge in India has only improved my game as a Batsman. I now feel more confident when playing spin and hopefully when it comes to the summer, we will see an improvement.
I also played a part in 2 games, in one of which I scored 33 runs off 34 balls as an opening batsman which resulted in a victory for my team against the Cricket Club of India (CCI). The second game was against Lancashire’s 2nd team where I hit 19 off 14 balls and took one wicket as part of a very close defeat for my team. I was lucky enough to play these games at highly rated venues, the Bradbourne Stadium which had a capacity of 35,000 and the D Y Patil Stadium which held a massive 55,000. Playing at these professional stadia was inspirational and made me realise that I am ambitious to play at such places more often in the future. Making it into the professional game will hopefully allow me to do so if I continue to progress with Derbyshire.
Away from the cricket, I was fortunate enough to view the slums in Mumbai. Dharavi is the worlds largest slum and I was shocked by what I was seeing. Poverty is rife across the whole of India and there was not one place I visited in Mumbai which didn’t show any level of poverty. People were trying to make a living from businesses with shops the width of a door, children of 5 and 6 were walking or catching a bus to school. It was a huge lesson for me. I now realise how lucky I actually am and how lucky we all are in this country. Despite the poverty however, most of the Indian people I met were full of energy, always smiling and enjoying themselves and they made my stay even better than expected.
I can only be thankful to Derbyshire for the opportunity they gave me to go and learn and improve my cricket out in India. I’ve come back home with experience and knowledge about my game as a batsman and I know this will massively help me during the upcoming season. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Hopefully I will visit India again in the future to further my learning, but now I’m focused on preparing back here in England to start the season at the end of next month.