School cricketers now aim for IPL
Dubai: The Dubai-born winner of the UAE's best junior cricketer award believes school-age players can now aim for the big stage early in their careers.
Siddarth Sekhar, of Delhi Private School in Sharjah, who received the Shyam Bhatia best junior cricketer award from Kapil Dev on Monday, said: "Earlier a cricketer who has done well at school level had to wait until he reached the national team to play alongside international stars.
"Through IPL a promising player can play with the greats of the game before even reaching the state team. It can boost a player's confidence."
The tall and lanky Sekhar, who hit 222 runs and picked up eight wickets this season in schools cricket, believes the IPL has also increased the number of strokes a young cricketer has to master.
"It has become important to also practice and master strokes like the Dilshan scoop as Twenty20 cricket is among the regular tournaments," said the 15-year-old, who is working under Mumbai Indians coach Robin Singh at the MAC Spin Academy in Chennai.