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IPL 2024

Ian Bishop: LSG and the BCCI must preserve special talents like Mayank Yadav

Ian Bishop wants BCCI to take care of Mayank Yadav
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ian Bishop has requested the Lucknow Super Giants or the BCCI to “undertake a project” to get the most out of young pace sensation Mayank Yadav.

Two matches into his IPL career, 21-year-old Yadav took the cricket fraternity by storm. Impressing with this rare amalgamation of raw pace and accuracy, pundits have predicted a bright future for him.

In his third match, against the Gujarat Titans, Mayank bowled a solitary over at reduced pace before leaving the ground. He has not played in the 2024 IPL since then. His current season figures – 9-0-54-6 – give him the best average and strike rate among those who have taken five wickets.

In his ESPNcricinfo column, Bishop requested the BCCI to take special care of Mayank to help him utilise his potential to the fullest.

“Mayank’s got something that you can’t buy: pace and control,” wrote Bishop. “But he also has an injury history, and in this he is not unique. We have seen a number of Indian fast-bowling talents break down… Mayank’s body needs management and it needs great strengthening.”

Bishop hoped cricket followed the examples of other sports: “I am a big American sports fan and I particularly follow the NBA, where the top players invest, or have others invest, in themselves to the tune of millions of dollars, in terms of having support staff and systems. Tennis players, too, do the same. I believe it is time for cricket to go that way – for the top franchises and national teams to preserve special talents like Mayank and support their growth.

He cited how Cricket Australia handled Pat Cummins, who evolved into one of the all-time great fast bowlers and led the nation to two global titles: “Pat Cummins is a very good example of someone who came in as a teenager, found that the stresses of the game were too much for his particular technique and his body. He had to come out, rehabilitate, make himself different technically, and come back a few years later.

“And as we’ve found out, Cummins has managed to build an exceptional career, where he has developed into one of the best fast bowlers and captains. It would be a good idea for Mayank at the start of his career to have the inputs Cummins found he required.

“Whether it’s Lucknow Super Giants, Mayank’s IPL team, or the BCCI, they can undertake a project – not an experiment, mind you – to say, ‘This guy is a diamond. Let us see if we can allocate some sort of funding and see where this goes.’”

Earlier this year, the BCCI awarded fast-bowling contracts to five speedsters. After Mayank’s second game, Bishop hoped for Mayank to be added to the list.

Bishop chalked down how he wanted the two organisations to support the youngster: “Give him a personal strength-and-conditioning trainer for, say, a year. Attach that person to him, not just have the player fly somewhere every six weeks for those resources. Maybe have another medical person on the panel as well. And perhaps a dietician too. Build him up. Mayank will still be playing cricket through this, to be clear; just that this person is attached to him. See how that pans out after a year. You have got the resources for an effort like this.

“Whether in the future Mayank plays a lot of red-ball cricket, whether he plays all formats, or whether you keep him as a white-ball option, you will be able to know after a year or two. So it is a worthwhile project, not only for India and LSG, but for the world game. This young kid, who is 21 now, by the time he’s 23 or 24, when his body has matured, he can give you almost a decade of excellent fast bowling. That’s one thing I’d like to see happen.”

Bishop himself was a much-feared fast bowler in the 1990s. He often took the new ball and got the first over, despite playing alongside the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, and Patrick Patterson. Yet, injuries restricted him to 43 Test matches, from which he claimed 161 wickets at 24.27.

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