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US clubs need Indian pitchers

other Updated: Nov 03, 2009 23:33 IST
Anuraag Singh
Anuraag Singh
Hindustan Times
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'Go there, bring as many as possible.'

Apparently that's the brief for Jeff Bernstein, a US baseball scout. Having spotted Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, two javelin throwers from eastern Uttar Pradesh now being transformed into pitchers at Pittsburgh Pirates, Bernstein claimed all 33 major clubs in the US are now asking for more.

Singh and Patel, Bernstein said, are regularly pitching around 148km per hour.

"When I organised the Million Dollar Arm Contest in 2007-08 in India and took winners Rinku and Dinesh to US, I was dubbed crazy.

“With Rinku and Dinesh clicking with Pirates, all 33 major clubs now want JB to bring as many as possible from Million Dollar Arm Contest II (in April 2010)," Bernstein, owner of the US-based Seven Figures Management which organized the contest, said. Apart from India, the Pirates's development side, whom Patel and Singh represent, has players from South America, Europe and Japan. Top Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is from Japan and Chan Ho Park is a South Korean who plays for Philadelphia Philies.

In 10 years from now, Bernstein said he dreams of building a baseball team comprising only Indians.

“But for that to happen, not only raw talent via Million Dollar Arm contest will have to be taken to the US but a pool of talented players will have to be created first in India.

“Already, an university in Panvel (Mumbai) has got Dipesh Solanki, a US coach of Indian origin to build their baseball team and I'm told 300 to 400 teenagers in Rinku's village in Bhadohi (East UP) now want to replicate their hero,” he said.

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