(Image source from: DNA India)
An Indian-origin Israel cricket president Joseph Tal has sought the support of his native country to support the existing talent in the Middle Eastern nation.
Tal's family moved to Israel in the 1960s when he was 16.
"There are a lot of Indian origin youngsters playing for the Israeli national cricket team and also in the Israeli league. Most of them have grown up following Indian cricketing legends and closely watch India play," Tal told PTI.
"In the past, there has been some effort to work out some sort of a training programme for our cricketers with the help of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). We would like to renew those efforts and see if we can get some sort of a support from BCCI to help nurture our young talent," he said.
The Israeli league has 18 teams taking part at two levels. Tal wants to alter that and plans to start a programme which would bring cricket into schools and attract youngsters of diverse origin to the game.
"There have been experiments in the past when ICA (International Cricketers Association) tried to use cricket as a tool of bringing youngsters from all sorts of background together, in efforts to promote co-existence. Some games were played also in the West Bank.
"Our new team at ICA would work to bring back cricket at schools, organizing training programs for youngsters and also lead some promotional activities, to popularize the game beyond a small section of the population that shows interest in the game at the moment," Tal stressed.
Since 1974, ICA has been an associate member of International Cricket Council (ICC) and is a founder member of the European Cricket Council (ECC). Israel's national team has been active in ECC tournaments but has not fared too well of late.