When Gopal Jasapara signed up for a coaching course in Dhaka, he never imagined he would come face-toface with two of Bangladesh’s best players.
But that was certainly the case, meeting their Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim and promising fast bowler Taskin Ahmed.
The Dubai-based G Force Academy head coach was one of 48 participants from more than 15 countries, who undertook the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) Level Three qualification programme.
Among the theory and practical lessons, was a visit to the Sher-e- Bangla National Cricket Stadium, where Bangladesh’s Test squad were training ahead of their series against Australia which was later called off due to security issues.
Having seen the Tigers practice from close, Jasapara wasted little time in getting a picture clicked with Rahim. “He was training for a very long time in the nets but he always played every shot to the best of his ability,” said Jasapara.
He also saw fast-bowler Ahmed bowl in the nets and came out impressed.
“He’s an exciting player who has bags of potential and it was really good to see what techniques he uses.”
While that was the highlight of the week-long course, Gasapara has no doubt his coaching knowledge has improved.
“I still have to do six months of coaching as part of my assessment to complete the course, but I have learnt a lot from the ACC coaches.
“We were tested on various issues including how to coach youths in the best possible manner and getting the best out of net sessions.”
He added: “Since I hold a Level 2 qualification, this can give me the advantage of training more youngsters in the UAE.
“At the same time, if you have these qualifications, it can make you a better coach.
“I’ve learnt a lot of things. Not just how to manage players but the importance of how to plan sessions in advance.
“It’s about making the most of time and the sessions challenging to the players. It was really worthwhile.”
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