15 year old Akhil Balagopal bags ‘Batsman of The Year’ title and makes it to senior cricket team in Kent
MEDWAY (Kent): Fifteen year old Akhil Balagopal a British South Indian, makes his mark in the community cricketing circles in Kent with an astounding season this year. Akhil, who plays for the Under 15 team of Frindsbury Cricket team ended the year with bagging the Batsman of The Year trophy. He scored five 50s, topped the runs aggregate and helped his club to win two Under 15 trophies this year which helped him to bag the Batsman of The Year title.
Frindsbury Cricket Club’s policy to give club’s youngsters a chance to make the transition from junior cricket into the senior ranks gave Akhil an opportunity to play for the senior team. Akhil fared well with the senior team by top scoring twice in the five senior league matches he played. The highlight of his season for the senior cricket was when he scored 48 not out against Offham CC when Akhil was close to winning it for Frindsbury but ended without support from the other end.
Akhil also starred for his school’s cricket team (Sir Joseph Williamson Mathematical School, Rochester, Kent) and ended up with the school honouring him with a Service Tie for outstanding contribution to school sports for the year 2013.
Akhil with the senior team of Frindsbury Cricket Club
Ian Budd, chairman of Frindsbury Cricket Club, who was also part of the senior team Akhil played opines: “Akhil has made huge strides this year, from being an integral part of a very strong Under 15 team to being a valuable player in the senior sides – and the important part for our club ethos is that he has made those impressions not just from an ability point of view but is a liked, respected and popular member of the club. Even though the local paper insist on calling him Bala!!” (Local newspaper Kent Messenger mistake him to be Bala, his dad)
Peter Elswood, the captain of Frindsbury senior cricket team, who gave Akhil the first opportunity to play senior cricket says: “Akhil has come into men’s cricket and adapted very well. His innings against Offham in the Kent League showed what potential he has, as after a tricky start to his innings, he grew in confidence to the point where he nearly saw us home to victory. Akhil is part of a very strong group of U15s at Frindsbury and it has been shown that as a club we will give opportunities in senior cricket to talented youngsters. I am already looking forward to next season as I am sure there will be many more innings to enjoy from Akhil.”
Akhil was also honoured with a trophy by the Medway Kerala Community in Kent during its Onam celebrations for his outstanding contribution towards sports and for upholding the community pride.
Akhil Balagopal, 15 won ‘Batsman of The Year’ at Frindsbury Cricket Club
Akhil has also been poached by various other clubs in Kent but would like to remain loyal to Frindsbury where his heart lies as he is a passionate and ardent supporter of Frindsbury Cricket Club, one of the oldest clubs in Kent which was established in 1885.
Akhil made his debut 50 runs in senior cricket this year while playing for Harrietsham Cricket Club in Maidstone and he has the top batting average there. He has also played for EEM Cricket Club and Friends Cricket Club.
Akhil’s dad Balagopal, who is also a Frindsbury player says:” Akhil has done well this year in all forms of cricket, be it Under 15s and seniors. However, now I want him to concentrate on his GCSE exams next May. Frindsbury Cricket Club nurtured him well and it was a big decision for the club to give him as an youngster an opportunity to play for the seniors. I am glad that he delivered the goods and that they will now help him to grow into a mature cricketer who would take Frindsbury to greater heights.
Akhil’s parents are Bala Balagopal and Anita Balagopal and has a younger sibling Lekshmi Balagopal aged 10. The family are from Kerala in South India and are settled in Chatham in Kent.
BritishSouthIndians.co.uk an Online news exclusively for the South Indians in UK, would like to congratulate Akhil Balagopal on achiveing Batsman of the Year award. Akhil is making all South Indians in the UK feel proud! A very well done Akhil!
– By A Staff Reporter (British South Indians)