Cricket trip to Mumbai
MGS pupil Ben Sheridan is currently representing Lancashire County Cricket Club's Academy team on their groundbreaking tour of Mumbai. The left-handed batsman and the left-arm medium pacer also plays for Bowdon CC, and has been playing for Lancashire CCC since the age of 10.
As part of the tour, Ben visited the Dharavi Cricket Academy. Considered one of the largest slums in Asia, Dharavi has an area of just over two square kilometres and a population of about 700,000.
In his own words, this is Ben's account of his visit to Dharavi.
My first impressions of the ground were quite incredible. There was no grass on the pitch, just dust at the facility where the boys practice cricket and the ground were very basic with just one toilet. I was shocked to say the least. Taking part in a coaching session with the boys was great fun. The Dharavi boys clearly love cricket and it was great to get involved with them. There were one or two language barriers, but it wasn’t too difficult to understand what was being said. Cricket has its own worldwide language.
All the players took part in a few fielding drills, which were set up by Dave Leighton. These included throwing, catching and intercepting. We were each partnered to work with a boy from Dharavi CA. This was extremely enjoyable and it gave us the opportunity to share our knowledge and understanding of the game alongside the High Commissioner of Mumbai.
At the end of the session, we exchanged hats, old cricket kit and took photographs which all the boys were pleased to do.
I am pleased to have visited Dharavi CA. It was an experience that I will never forget. It showed me the devotion that these boys have for cricket, and also how lucky I am to enjoy the facilities at my own club back home. I would love to see one of the boys from Dharavi play cricket for India in England in years to come.