Pro Star League, an under-16 cricket tournament which aims to identify and nurture talent at the grassroots, has begun the hunt for the best upcoming cricketers through a national-level mentorship camp. The camp in Kolkata began on 27th April and was on till the 11th of May, under the guidance of The Sourav Ganguly Foundation. The legend himself was present to train the players and teach them the nuances of cricket.
Twenty-four teams from the four zones – north, south, east, west, qualified for the mentorship phase. The city phase level of the league was simultaneously contested in 10 cities (Mumbai, Jaipur, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bengaluru) where over 900 schools battled for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored by legends such as Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, VVS Laxman and Zaheer Khan.
Pro Star League was formed with a vision to get students back to the playground and develop sport at the grassroots. Founded by two sports enthusiasts – Pooja Mody and Neeraj Lulla, the league is built around the philosophy of ‘catching them young’.
Speaking on the occasion, Sourav Ganguly said: “This is a great initiative by Pro Star League to focus on grassroots development of sports. The Sourav Ganguly Foundation is happy to provide them with the necessary guidance they need to fulfill their vision. The camp has been a rigorous one and I am confident that this will motivate the kids to continue playing cricket and make it a part of their daily routine. Talent, when coupled with an opportunity such as this can go a long way.”
Pooja Mody, Co-Founder, Pro Star League said: “We would like to thank Mr. Sourav Ganguly and his Foundation for supporting us in our very first year. The response for Pro Star League’s mentorship camp in Kolkata has been phenomenal. Each day we saw coaches and parents coming to cheer for the children and stay back till the end of the day. Such support is a source of encouragement for us too. Grassroots development of cricket lies at the core of our vision and we strive to make this a successful effort.”
Schools from Kolkata who qualified for the camp were – National High School, LMET International School, Ratnakar North Point School, National Gems Higher Secondary School, St. Thomas’ Boys’ School and Rammohan Mission High School.
The mentors will select the top eight teams at the end of the camps in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Delhi, who will compete for the Pro Star League title, by heading into the national rounds. Top talent from the camp will also be scouted for the 2018 World School Cricket Cup.
> Pratyusha Mukherjee