Friday, April 03, 2009

“We are not here to make Sanath run like a 20-year-old" - Mumbai Indians trainer Ramji Srinivasan

At a time when cricket teams world over be it international or IPL have a penchant to recruit `foreigners’ as coaches, trainers and physios it is heartening to see Chennai’s own ace trainer Ramji Srinivasan make the cut as Mumbai Indians trainer.

Also the fact that he was personally invited to take the job from none other than Sachin Tendulkar himself speaks volumes of the strides Indian trainers have made in a field dominated by `whites’.

“It is a great honour to be asked by Sachin to assist his team. Also the fact that Mumbai Indians is run by one of India’s top most corporate houses gives me lot of joy,” said Ramji.

At the moment Ramji is the only Indian trainer among the eight teams that will play in the IPL II in South Africa.
One of the reason’s for this imbalance is lack of confidence in Indian trainers and secondly paucity of experienced trainers with international exposure.

“Indian trainers are no way inferior to any one in the world. The fact that we do not have a National institute to train and grade trainers and physios may be a handicap. But things are changing now. We have the talent and many (trainers) have done courses abroad and are well versed in the modern techniques,” opined Ramji.

Coming to the demands of the shortest version of the game Ramji believes that there is no secret or short cut for fitness.
Mumbai Indians side have a mixture of players both experienced and youngsters in their ranks. Jayasuriya is the oldest touching 40. Is it tough to make veterans fit for T20.

“We are not here to make Sanath run like a 20-year-old. Each player has his own strength and weakness. My job is to see to that a player develops core strength depending on his discipline and importantly focus on injury prevention.
Sachin is a classic case of a player who has defied age. If you look at the number of recoveries he has made after being down due to injury, one will understand the importance of will power and dedication,” reflected Ramji.

Ramji’s association with the MRF Pace Foundation and his stints with the Indian cricket team and A1 GP team has enabled him to learn a lot and importantly travel and upgrade himself with the latest techniques.

“There is no substitute for experience.
I have trained all the players right from Sachin, Zaheer to Tamil Nadu’s Balaji at MRF. Therefore I understand the `body’ the system of many cricketers with varied jobs and demands.

This will come in handy at IPL,” stressed Ramji.

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