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Robin Singh to coach in Cuba

February 07, 2007 11:46 IST
Former India one-day all rounder Robin Singh will form a coaching team to train players in baseball-mad Cuba where the sport is enjoying a revival.

Singh, who was born in Trinidad and represented India from 1989 to 2001, told reporters baseball was a good grounding for cricket.

"Cuban players have very good hand-eye coordination and they are fine athletes, which helps in fielding," he said. "What is most important is to have a cricket ground."

Cricket was brought to Cuba by West Indians who came to work in the sugar industry about 80 years ago. After President Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution steered Cuba toward socialism and state-organized sports, cricket died out.

Descendants of West Indian immigrants revived cricket a decade ago and some 2,000 young Cubans play the game today.

As a recreational sport, cricket is not entitled to state support in communist-run Cuba.

"The Cubans want to take the sport to a higher level," said the Indian ambassador in Havana, Mitra Vasisht, not least because it is the main sport of Cuba's Caribbean allies.

Sports Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar donated cricket equipment to Cuba during a visit last week, she said. Cuba agreed to send experts to help extend sports activities in India.

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