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Fantastic four from Bradford class act Mahesh
Mahesh Patel may not be a man for all seasons – but he is a man for all divisions.
The experienced Patel has won the Bradford Mutual Sunday School League’s George F Terry batting trophy for most runs scored in a season in each of the league’s four sections.
He took it in 1999 for Tumblers with 720 runs, in 2006 for Bradford Indians with a league record aggregate of 1,022, in 2009 for Yorkshire LPS and in 2012 for VVS Laxman with 491.
Patel has also won the league batting averages five times – the four occasions above, plus in 1996 for Omars.
Batting isn’t the only string in the former Windhill player’s bow, however.
The Challenge College teacher also wants to set up a cricket academy at the school, and has also run several coaching masterclasses.
A recent one was attended by Yorkshire players Moin Ashraf and Adil Rashid, and in future Patel has plans to invite Indian greats Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman so they can hold their own masterclasses.
Others who he intends to invite are Ranji Trophy (India’s main first-class domestic competition) record holder Amol Muzumdar and Vivek Razdan.
Patel said: “We have had great attendances at the cricket masterclasses at the school, considering we have only been running them for a few weeks.
“I intend to use the abundance of raw cricketing talent in West Yorkshire and train them to become international calibre players.
“I have witnessed children play with immense passion and skill, and have seen them display immense self respect for each other.
“It's great seeing this and I am sure it will be reflected off the cricket pitch as well. If we can produce an Adil Rashid from this then we have been extremely successful.
“Having played good competitive cricket in the Bradford League, Leeds League and Mutual Sunday School League, I am hoping to inspire young people from Bradford to take up the sport through my masterclasses.
“I believe cricket provides a platform for people of all different races and nationalities to come together.
“Through playing cricket, young adults become team players and learn to be respectful, honest and sincere. This is what my parents taught me, and playing cricket has helped me achieve my goals in other areas of my life too.
“I have played alongside great players such as VVS Laxman, Ijaz Ahmed and Vivek Razdan, who have been great ambassadors and have also made great life-long friends through cricket.
“I would like to see schools and colleges in the Bradford District playing cricket matches on a regular basis during the summer term.”
Challenge College’s head teacher Ian Richardson said: “It is absolutely fantastic what Mahesh is doing.
“All the youngsters have been talking about is the coaching, at which about 50 have attended, and it has created a real buzz around the school.
“Many of the pupils are so keen that they listen to how Pakistan are doing on their radios during the lunch break.
“Mahesh has even brought cricket into his maths lessons to help the youngsters work out averages, and we hope that these masterclasses will grow. It would be tremendous for the city.”
Patel added: “I want to dedicate the GF Terry batting award to my parents for giving me the opportunity and chance to play cricket from the age of seven."