Tips & Articles

'Coaching more fulfilling than five-wicket haul' -

The opening day of the Saurashtra-Baroda match in Khandheri, on the outskirts of Rajkot, had an unlikely visitor. At the foot of the pavilion steps, several kids wearing identical uniforms clustered around the distinctive 6ft 4in figure of Alex Tudor, the former England fast bowler. A few other trigger-happy spectators, who had braved the cold Sunday morning, took out their camera phones, scrambling to get the best shot. Tudor is in the country for ten days on a coaching assignment with G Force, a cricket academy based in Dubai, and the 29 teenagers under his tutelage are in Saurashtra to play against local teams and experience Indian conditions.

Tudor, who played ten Tests for England between 1998 and 2002, went off the radar in the late 2000s, when he was released by Surrey. He has since then taken up coaching full time and admits he finds the experience of being around youngsters stimulating.

"I just seem to have a good relationship with kids, wherever I go," Tudor says with a laugh. "Maybe it's because I'm tall. I suppose I behave like them at times, I'm quite young at heart. I just enjoy seeing them with smiles on their faces, playing the game I love. If they go away learning something new from something I've taught, that gives me more fulfilment than a five-wicket haul or any runs I've got."

Tudor's international career was only restricted to games in England and Australia. On pitches with bounce, he was a handful. When the opportunity came to tick off a box and visit India, albeit as a coach, Tudor wasn't going to pass it up. A mutual friend introduced Tudor to Gopal Jasapara, who runs the academy and Tudor was on board.

"As soon as he spoke of the opportunity to work in India I was sold," Tudor says. "I had never been to India before. I told my wife about it and she was very accommodating.

"I've always wanted to sample India, to see the kids looking happy, though not having the facilities that some of our kids have back at home and still enjoying the game, not moaning about the state of the outfields etc. I'm just really happy to be here and hopefully it won't be my last visit."

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player