Transforming its commitment to discovering potential, championing dreams, Rajasthan Royals today launched its first cricket academy in the United Kingdom.
The Star Cricket Academy is based at Reed’s School in Surrey, and will now be called the Rajasthan Royals Cricket Academy UK. Reed’s School has a state-of-the-art indoor cricket centre named the Jarrett Centre. It is managed by former professional batsman, Siddharth Lahiri, along with his team of elite coaches which also include former England cricketer and currently the cricket professional at Reed’s School, Keith Medlycott, who will be the mentor for the academy.
The Royals, who have always been known for scouting and unearthing talent had launched their grassroots program in India, in October 2018 called the Royals Colts for boys and Royal Sparks for girls. Going one step further, the Royals who have a strong base in the UK owing to its association with two stars of English cricket, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, and also the base for the team’s lead owner Manoj Badale, took a conscious decision to develop cricketing talent globally.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the academy, Manoj Badale, Lead owner Rajasthan Royals said, “Education and sports go hand in hand, which helps in building strong characters and leaders. Rajasthan Royals Academy is a great way to engage the youth, develop talent, and potentially find the stars of the future.”
Jos Buttler said: “I am delighted that Rajasthan Royals are launching an academy in the UK. There is so much talent here and the learnings that can be transferred from the IPL and Indian cricket in general are immense!”
“We have entered into this partnership to engage with the growing cricketing talent in the UK with learnings from the most innovative T20 league in the world. I am very thankful to Sid who shares the same vision as the Royals and agreed to join hands and provide training of the highest quality to budding cricket enthusiasts in the UK,” added Zubin Bharucha, Head of Cricket, Rajasthan Royals.
The Star Cricket Academy which is now going to be called the Rajasthan Royals Cricket Academy UK has successfully grown and coached the following cricketers who are now playing international/first class cricket:
Ollie Pope (England & Surrey)
Ryan Patel (Surrey)
Amar Virdi (Surrey)
Alex Milton (Worcestershire)
These boys have been coached at the academy from age 8 onwards.
“It feels great to be laying the foundations for the future careers of so many cricketers. I am honoured to have Rajasthan Royals on board who have always been keen on providing opportunities to young talent. We are thrilled to be starting on this new journey and are hopeful of producing cricket superstars from the Rajasthan Royals Academy,” said Sid Lahiri, Academy Director-Rajasthan Royals Academy.
The franchise is keen to create an exchange programme across India and UK wherein the children from the UK will receive an opportunity to come to Institute of Sport, Nagpur and learn insights from the Indian experts, with the students from India getting an opportunity to learn new techniques and tactics from international coaches. In other words, the students will be far better prepared due to expertise from Indian as well as international coaches.
The franchise has a belief that talent can come from anywhere and it strongly supports it. Known as underdogs since the initiation of the IPL, RR has always encouraged budding talent and given them a platform to hone their skills.