Cricket: Singapore teen Jeevan Santhanam to train at prestigious National Cricket Academy in India

Jeevan Santhanam plays in the local cricket league and represents the Singapore Recreation Club.
Jeevan Santhanam plays in the local cricket league and represents the Singapore Recreation Club.PHOTO: ASIAN CRICKET COUNCIL/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Singapore cricketer Jeevan Santhanam is only 14 but he has big ambitions in the sport.

According to his father S. Santhanam, the Raffles Institution student is keen to pursue a professional career.

That dream was boosted after he was selected as one of the Republic's two representatives, along with women's national team captain Shafina Mahesh, 20, for a month-long training stint at India's National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

The camp features 58 young players from various Commonwealth nations.

Jeevan, who plays in the local cricket league and represents the Singapore Recreation Club, left for India on Wednesday (Oct 9). He said: "It is a great opportunity to be selected for this training with (this group of) multi-national players.

"I am super excited and looking forward to the experience, to learn new skills and hopefully bring wins for our country."

S. Santhanam, 44, assistant director in the engineering line, said: "Jeevan has loved cricket from very young, and I think this trip will benefit him a lot.

"He wants to pursue a career in cricket and possibly play county cricket or even in the (professional Twenty20 cricket league) Indian Premier League, depending on the level he and Singapore cricket manage to (rise to) in the future."

Singapore Cricket Association chief executive Saad Khan Janjua added: "India is a Test-playing nation and their coaches at the national academy are of a very high level.

"Giving Jeevan and Shafina this exposure and the opportunity to learn from different coaches and playing with cricketers from different countries, will help them improve their skills. I am sure they will return with belief and confidence, and will be able to contribute to Singapore cricket."

Local cricket has celebrated a number of recent highs. In September, the national men's team scored an upset victory over Zimbabwe at the Instarem Singapore Tri-Nations T20 Series at Balestier Road, the first time Singapore has beaten a Test-playing, International Cricket Council full member country.

Singapore also won SEA Games gold in the T20 in 2017 and will compete at the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier from Oct 18-Nov 2 in Dubai.

To reach that tournament, world No.21 Singapore had beaten No. 11 Nepal en route to winning the Asian regional final in July.

In Dubai, they will face the likes of Scotland (No. 12), Bermuda (30), the Netherlands (16), Kenya (29), Papua New Guinea (17) and Namibia (20) in the 14-team qualifier.

The top six teams will qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia next year.