Watch Out Punekars! India’s Biggest Cricket Talent Hunt is Coming Home

4 min read
Stadium Cricket Club Pune. Image Source: LBB

If your heart #BleedsBlue, then THIS is for you!

Hey, good news for Pune’s budding young cricketers! Magpie Sports Group is bringing the country’s biggest cricket scouting event to Pune. The one-day trial of the national-level Talent Hunt Programme will be held at VDR Cricket Academy, Pune on 5 December.

This will be the third such event as a part of a series of trials under the Magpie Sports Group Talent Hunt Programme across India. The first two trials organised in Jammu and Hyderabad were quite a hit.

MSG cricket trial inauguration in Jammu. Image Source:

Players selected from these trials will get to feature at the final camp of the Talent Hunt Programme in Chandigarh. There, they will have the chance to get guidance from some of the top international cricketers like Albie Morkel and Herschelle Gibbs. The top 48 players from this camp will be further provided with a scholarship and will receive training at some of the best cricket clubs in England, South Africa, and New Zealand.

Pune’s association with Indian Cricket

DB Deodhar, the legendary cricketer from Pune
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Pune has a long legacy when comes to producing stellar cricketing talent. The first name that comes to mind is D B Deodhar, the Grand Old Man of Indian Cricket and a Padma Bhushan awardee. Deodhar is one of the few Indian players to have braced the sport before the first world war. In fact, a limited overs inter-zonal cricket tournament played in India, the Deodhar Trophy, is named after him.

Another gem from Pune is Chandu Borde, who played for India from 1958 to 1970. He held the Indian record for the highest runs in first-class cricket with 1,604 runs until 2016, when it was broken by Cheteshwar Pujara. In modern times, Kedar Jadhav is the most popular face to have made it big in the national set-up, having cemented his place in the midfield in early 2017.

The city has two major cricket stadiums, the Jawaharlal Stadium near Swargate and the mighty Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Mahalunge. The Deccan Gymkhana, the Poona Club and the Dilip Vengsarkar Cricket Club are some of the other prominent cricketing clubs in Pune.

Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. Image Source:

Moreover, the country’s first ever cricket museum- Blades of Glory, is based here.

Clearly, Pune has an encouraging cricketing culture, it’s just a matter of finding the gems and polishing them.

Not only Pune but India as a country as well has an abundant amount of cricketing talent. However, the single most rudimentary problem that the cricketers in India face is the limited opportunities here.

Players suffer from intense competition to play even in state or local tournaments. Add to that, the issue of financing oneself during the initial phase makes it difficult for one to sustain against the players who have required resources.

MSG Talent Hunt Programme: A dream opportunity for budding cricketers

Image Source: KreedOn

The MSG Talent Hunt Programme is organised to answer this exact problem that plagues Indian cricket. It aims at identifying India’s best young and upcoming cricketers and grooming them. More importantly, it aims at providing Indian cricketers with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with a foreign club. The entire cost of playing overseas will be born by the Magpie Group.

The five-day programme will take place between 10th- 14th January 2019 and will be conducted at the Tau Devi Lal Cricket Stadium in Chandigarh.

The players selected for this programme will be groomed by Saqlain Mushtaq, Albie Morkel, Herschelle Gibbs, Saqlain Mushtaq, Matthew Hoggard, and Kyle Mills. A total of  48 talented cricketers will be selected by these eminent sportspersons.

These Top 48 cricketers – 16 in each batch – will go on a training tour to England, South Africa, and New Zealand where they will get a chance to train with a reputed club or academy for a month. This shall give them an opportunity to be signed by a club in the respective country based on their performance during the tour. The expenses for this tour will be fully paid for in the form of scholarship by Magpie Sports Group.

“We want to provide a dynamic platform to get this much-needed exposure at an early stage through this talent hunt, so that going forward they can become truly world-class cricketers”, Manish Chaudhary, chairman of Magpie Group.

About Magpie Sports Talent Hunt trial in Pune

The Pune trial is scheduled for Wednesday, 5 December 2018. Cricketers between the age of 12 to 25 years are eligible for the trial. Former Indian cricketer Abhijeet Kale will be present at the venue to hand-pick the best cricketers in the event.

The players selected at the Pune trial will then have the opportunity to further showcase their abilities at the Talent Hunt Programme in Chandigarh, Haryana.

Venue: VDR Cricket Academy, Sai Nagar, Pune, Maharashtra 412101

Day & Date: Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Time: 7 am to 8 pm

Eligibility: Players between 12-25 years

 Register for the event here 

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