State cricket fraternity upbeat as UP retain U-19 trophy
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The state cricket fraternity is upbeat as the UP under-19 team has succeeded in retaining the Vinoo Mankad under-19 cricket trophy defeating Maharashtra by four wickets in the final at Cuttack on Sunday.
Just over a week ago, the under-14 team had retained the Raj Singh Dungarpur Trophy.
At the senior level also, UP gave a good start to its Ranji Trophy campaign this season by outclassing Delhi in its opening encounter. The seniors are facing Maharashtra in the second match which is in progress.
Talking to The Indian Express, UP under-19 team coach Ratnesh Mishra said, "It was a collective effort.
Some of the players like Kuldeep Yadav, Amit Pachera and Saif have the ability to rise very high in the game. Having a bunch of talented boys at the junior level is a positive sign for the state cricket as these juniors graduate to form future Ranji teams."
Team manager and former Ranji player Musi Raza said, "It is something good for the junior state cricket that UP has been able to win the trophy last year as well as this year.
The selection committee needs to be congratulated for the improvement in the scenario. Players like Amit Pachera, M Saif, skipper Kuldeep Yadav and Arpit Shukla performed commendably in the tournament. The fielding standard of the team was also up to the mark."
Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) Director Jyoti Bajpai said, " It's nice that the state team has excelled in the under-14 and under-19 cricket for two consecutive years. If you talk of the senior team, chief coach Venkatesh Prasad has done good work but it is ultimately the players who have to play on the ground."
UP junior selection committee chairman Shashikant Khandekar said, "The boys are doing so well. The coach and manager all keep themselves so much involved in the team's progress. Some good players like batsmen M Saif and Amit Pachera, pacer Arpit Shukla and skipper Kuldeep Yadav (left-arm chinaman bowler) have performed impressively in the prestigious tournament."