THREE young Biddestone players will attempt revolutionise their game next week when they travel more than 4,000 miles for a fortnight of top-class coaching at the Assam Cricket Academy in India.
Fourteen-year-olds David Comport, Akito Jacques and James Bartlett will be jetting off to the city of Guwahati, in the northern state of Assam, on April 4, in a scheme organised by ex-Biddestone overseas player Nishi Bordoloi.
Comport, from Chippenham, and Jacques, who lives in Nettleton, visited the Assam academy last year alongside fellow youngster Robert Horn.
Hardenhuish School pupil Comport, who played for Biddestone U14s, as well as the club’s fourth XI men’s team last season, is looking forward to reacquainting himself with the Indian style of coaching.
“It was quite different and because of the climate, we did fitness work early in the morning and drills late on in the afternoon,” he said.
“It’s different because they take it a lot more seriously than we do over here.
“Everyone stands to attention for the coach at the end of the sessions and you have to call him ‘sir’ when you speak to him.
“We also had a session with the India A fielding coach (Subhadeep Ghosh) and had video analysis with some of the coaches from Assam, who are like the county side – I can’t wait to go back.”
Jacques, who goes to Sheldon School and has also featured for Biddestone’s fourth team, will be accompanied by dad Tom, as well as Biddestone coach Graham Horn, during this year’s trip to India.
He said: “I’m excited because it was a great experience and I’m lucky to be able to do it again.
“On our one day off, we got to go to a sanctuary and ride elephants, which was amazing. The coaching was strict but it was still fun.
“I definitely think that we got fitter last year because of all the work that we did and I’m glad that I’m going with some other people that I know, because I’d be quite anxious going out there by myself.”
Abbeyfield School pupil Bartlett will be the new addition to the party.
“I think my coaches put me forward as someone who could go on the trip this year and I found out about it just before Christmas,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to it and not just because of the cricket side of things but because I’ll be able to experience a different culture.”
Wiltshire cricket development manager Pete Sykes said: “It will be a wonderful experience for David, Akito and James to experience the unique culture that India has to offer and to appreciate just how much cricket means to the people of India.
“Players develop greatly by being challenged in different environments that are out of their comfort zone.’’
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