Two Patiala all-rounders namely Karan Pathak and Ekjot Singh have been selected in the 16-member Indian schools cricket team for the forthcoming tours to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England.
The team will fly to Pakistan in September end and later they will tour to Sri Lanka and England.
The School Games Federation of India (SGFI) announced the team after a preparatory camp held in Agra on Saturday. Earlier, the probable for the coaching camp were selected on the basis of their performances in the national school games held in 2012-13 academic session.
16-year-old Karan, a student of Guru Teg Bahadur School, Patiala, is a right hand middle order batsman and a leg spinner.
"It's a great feeling to get selected in the team to represent the country. I am very excited about touring abroad," Karan said who studies arts in Class 11.
Karan started playing cricket when he was in Class 2 under coach Mahesh Inder Singh Sodhi, father of former India player Reetinder Singh Sodhi.
Son of Vijay Kumar Pathak, a government employee, Karan said, "I am all geared up to play my best. It will be a good experience for me," he said.
In national school games, Pathak played five matches scoring 165 runs and took 12 wickets. His highest score was unbeaten 60.
16-year-old Ekjot Singh is also an all-rounder and a rare combination wherein he bats left handed while bowls right arm medium pace. The closest examples one can find are former Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly, Suresh Raina and Ashish Nehra.
Ekjot has represented Punjab in BCCI's U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy last year where he scored unbeaten 52 and 32 against Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, respectively. Ekjot's father Sukhwinder Singh Thind is an engineer.
"It's a huge opportunity for me and I will leave no stone unturned in my endeavor to give the best for my country," Ekjot said.
Ekjot, who also studies arts in Class 11 in Yadavindra Public School, Patiala, started playing at the age of eight.
"He has good action and follow-through. He is very talented and this trip will not only be good exposure but also help him improve as a cricketer," his coach Mahesh Inder Singh said, who runs a cricket academy at Guru Teg Bahadur School where both the players practice.
In the national school games, Ekjot scored 90 runs and took six wickets in three matches.
"They both are very hard working. Karan is a very good batsman with a natural flow and a talented spinner, while Ekjot also is a good prospect for the future," Mahesh said.