Mumbai:Sachin Tendulkar said he turned down several offers before joining forces with Middlesex to launch the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy and that it took nearly 10 months to put things together before forming the tie-up.
“When you’re getting into a partnership, you don’t start with a tail-ender, you start with a solid batsman at the non-striker’s end. I could clearly see that in Middlesex, given their history and contribution to cricket in England,” Tendulkar told Hindustan Times. “Because the summer is going on, we’re going to start with London, and when the conditions allow us to have a camp here, we’re going to have it in November when the rains would have stopped.”
The camps, to be organised for boys and girls, will get underway at Merchant Taylor’s School in Northwood next month.
While the primary focus would be on cricket, endulkar said he wants to help foster sporting culture. Referring to prominent clubs in Mumbai, he said: “I’ve always maintained that India is a sport-loving nation, not a sport-playing nation. So, the whole vision is to build a big club like how we have Cricket Club of India or a Bombay Gymkhana where there will be a cricket academy but the club will also have tennis courts, squash courts, badminton, table tennis, swimming pool, billiards, pool and all those things.”
Tendulkar, who retired after accumulating over 34,000 international runs, including 100 centuries, said the kids will undergo trials. “We are going to look at how promising the kid is. Scholarships will be mainly given to the underprivileged ones, where they can’t afford to pay fees and all those kind of things. We will not allow these financial obstacles to come in their way. We want to support the child and let him/her chase their dreams,” he added.
While the introductory camps will be in London and Mumbai, Tendulkar wants to expand them to a number of cities with time. There will also be provisions made for schools to hire coaches from the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy.