Let's Play: Cricket Clubs In Mumbai For All The Twenty-Something Ballers
We just celebrated the 27th anniversary of the god of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, debuting for the national team against Pakistan in 1989. The fact that SRT was 16-years-old then only acts as a motivation. So for the 18+ age group cricket enthusiasts who dream of plying their trade in the iconic ‘maidans’ of Mumbai, and may be even forcing their way into the state/ national team, we have popped up the best cricket clubs you should join. So just play through them.
MIG, Bandra East
With 14,000 sq.mtrs of cricket playing area, MIG was inaugurated by cricketing legend, Vijay Hazare. SRT is associated with the club as a consultant, making it an opportunity for the players to interact with the Master himself occasionally. The club has one of the best cricketing facilities. The club has four teams out of which 2 teams play in the ‘A’ Division of Kanga League, the premier senior cricket tournament of Mumbai. It is one of the five first-class cricketing venues in Mumbai.
They have round the year coaching camps (October to March) and summer camps (April to May) that are organised with morning and evening batches. The admission fees are INR 60,000, and the annual fees are INR 4,000.
Mulund Gymkhana, Mulund
Established in 1983, they have a very excellent program to push youngsters at taking up at least one sport. Regarding cricket, they have renowned coaches, a huge play area, a fully equipped air conditioned gymnasium with steam/sauna bath and massage and jacuzzi facilities. Practice is done both on artificial turf and cement wickets. Video sessions with Ranji and national team players are a regular affair.
The club has a seven-month coaching program from November to May, spanning over five days a week with two batches for two hours daily. The fee is INR 4,000 per month. The most illustrious alumni of the club is Ajinkya Rahane who currently plays for the national team.
Chandrakant Pandit Cricket Clinic, Andheri
A former Indian wicket keeper, inaugurated the facility in 1999. Being associated with coaching positions with the Mumbai Ranji team and the Indian national team, Pandit brings in immense amount of experience needed for a player to improve on various aspects of the game and evolve into utility players.
The coaching camp spans from mid September to mid June. MCA affiliated coaches are invited to explain the rules and spirit of the game to the players. They have artificial turfs and concrete wickets on offer and the fees for the program could range anywhere between INR 4,000-INR 5,000 per month. There are two batches daily for two hours are conducted on weekdays. They have a limited number of entries for the camp, so keep that in mind.
Shivaji Park Gymkhana, Dadar
The place is associated with the legendary coach of Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Ramakant Achrekar and with almost every player who has gone on to represent the national team from Mumbai. Established in 1909, the legacy of the club churning out world class players is not unknown to many. Pravin Amre, former Indian test cricketer, who has been coach of the Mumbai Ranji team, the Delhi Daredevils team in IPL is the current president of the club.
Known as the ‘Nursery of Cricket in India’, it has produced 21 international players. 19,000 sq.yards of playing area, regular visits by former and current players and other facilities can cost you as low as INR 1,000 a month. The fees can vary and go up to INR 5,000 a month.
Vengsarkar Cricket Academy, Chembur
Nicknamed ‘Colonel’ during his playing days, Dilip Vengsarkar still maintains the true essence of the term and has been incorporating military like standards among cricketing enthusiasts through his academy established in 1994, which is considered one of the strictest academies across the country. A thorough selection procedure which requires uploading videos showcasing your bowling and batting skills, screening tests and a panel of umpires and coaches to select the best out of the applicants, its a no nonsense approach followed right from day one.
The camp begins in October and ends in May. Coaching is provided on weekdays in two batches and the fees for the same ranges from INR 2,500 to INR 5,000. The best known cricketers who once trained here are Yuvraj Singh, Ajit Agarkar, Manan Vohra and Ramesh Powar.
Payyade Sports Club, Kandivali
Started by the former Joint Secretary of Mumbai Cricket Association, P V Shetty, this club has a proud history of producing players for the Mumbai Ranji team and is also one of the most successful clubs in ‘Maidan cricket’. He owns more than 20 clubs in Mumbai and has been credited to expand the game through the suburban areas. Providing ample facilities and play time, a holistic approach is maintained in grooming a cricketer.
The fees can range anywhere between INR 2,500 to INR 5,000. Rohit Sharma, the only cricketer with two double centuries in limited overs cricket is a product of the club. Also Poonam Raut, vice captain of women’s national team has come through the ranks of this club.
MCA Sharad Pawar Indoor Cricket Academy, Bandra Kurla Complex
The indoor cricket facility was inaugurated by Sharad Pawar in 2007. The state of the art world class offering may be a hinge too expensive to enroll one for learning the game of cricket, but its worth every penny. A controlled temperature of 14-40 degree Celsius is maintained in the facility. Seven indoor nets, bowling machines, fully equipped gymnasium, floodlit night training, six a side training, 2D motion analysis software for biomedical assessment, virtual learning lab for sports, physiotherapists and dietary consultants and a lot is on offer here.
As for the fees, members of affiliated clubs will pay INR Rs 10,000 per hour-per net, corporates pay INR 15,000 per hour-per net or INR 50,000 for two hours for all the nets. The coaching sessions are held only in the evening.