Cuban cricket gets a lifeline in Robin Singh

Published: Wednesday, February 7, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Havana:Former Indian all-rounder Robin Singh is all set to breath new life into cricket in Cuba by forming a coaching team to train players in the country, which had withheld all state support to the game after Fidel Castro took over as President.

Robin, who was born in Trinidad (West Indies), played for India for more than a decade and continues to be associated with the game as a coach for the India 'A' side.

''Cuban players have very good hand-eye coordination and they are fine athletes, which helps in fielding. What is most important is to have a cricket ground,'' he told reporters outlining his plans for the nation known more for its boxers.

The game was vibrant in Cuba after the West Indians introduced it some 80 years ago but the 1959 communist revolution spelt its end as the new-found Socialist government refused to treat it as anything more than recreation.

Cricket's fortunes are once again on the rise and the latest initiative is expected to give the sport a major boost.

''The Cubans want to take the sport to a higher level,'' Indian ambassador in Havana Mitra Vasisht said.

Earlier, Indian Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar visited Cuba last week and donated cricket equipment to the country.

Mr Aiyar was here from February 1-4 to sign a bilateral agreement with Cuba to strengthen cooperation in the field of sports.

Cuba has also agreed to send a top expert to visit India to study the Indian sports system and institutions over a period of one to three months and to submit a report to the two governments.


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