This Aussie is an India fan
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David Andrews says that he felt an instant connection to India when he backpacked through the country for a year from 1991 to 1992. "I felt this intense connection with India and its people. I travelled from the south to the north. The people, their culture and the way life is lived in India just captured my imagination," he says.
Andrews went back to his hometown of Darwin in the Northern Territory after his year-long sojourn. "I played domestic cricket for 10 years for the Northern Territory. It was a great experience and when I stopped playing, coaching was a natural option," he says. But the connection to India in Andrews' heart never flickered. "India was always one place right at the top of my list to come and work."
Andrews after working as a coach in his native Darwin also worked with Cricket Australia in-charge of cricket development in the Middle-East. In 2008, he was offered the chance to come to Pune and take charge of the Maharashtra U-19 team. Andrews says there was no hesitation in accepting the offer.
"Indians love their cricket. The passion for the game is at fever-pitch and over the last four years the experience of coaching these young lads has been superb," he says.
Andrew's enthusiasm has been reflected by the state side as they have made it to the knockouts of the Vinoo Mankad U-19 one day tournament for three years in a row.
The team also reached the finals of the Cooch Behar Trophy last year, but faltered at the final hurdle against Mumbai. Andrews is hoping that the team makes it four out of four times in the one-dayers as it prepares to leave for Ahmadabad to play in the West Zone qualifiers. "The talent in the team is exceptional. Its been that way from the time I have taken charge. We are just concentrating on going all the way this time," he says.
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