Cricket, baseball can be pals in India: Coach

Published: Monday, June 28, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai :American baseball coach Rick Dell was quite impressed and surprised with the skills shown by Indian players on the first day of the camp he is conducting in Mumbai.

"It was just the opposite of what we had initially expected. The players here showed such superb skills and enthusiasm that has left us quite surprised. It was our natural assumption that Indians will not be familiar with the game, but we were proved wrong. They never felt uncomfortable and knew the basics well," Dell said after the first session of the two-day camp which began in Mumbai on Monday.

"I am intrigued by some of the similar movements of the game (cricket) to baseball. But we are not here to compete with cricket. I think cricket compliments the development of baseball in India as it creates a 'bat and ball' mentality," the US coach said.

"It's not like in some other countries where I have to teach them how to hit, catch or throw. They know it because of cricket. They already have a bat and ball mentality. If you give an Indian a bat or a glove, he would pretty much know what to do with it," said Major League Baseball's Asia Pacific Envoy Programme regional co-ordinator.

Dell, for whom this is his second visit to the country following a month-long coaching session in Chandigarh last year, is in Mumbai on the invitation of the Maharashtra Baseball Association which is organising the camp under the auspices of the Amateur Baseball Federation of India.

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