One of Indian cricket's longest associations is set to end very soon, with Denis Lillee deciding that he would not be continuing with the MRF Pace Academy anymore. The legendary Australian pace bowler who has been with the MRF academy for the last 25 years has decided to finally call it quits.
Citing the reason of wanting to spend more time with his family and lesser time travelling, Lillee said he would be overseeing two more camps. The champion fast bowler along with TA Sekhar has trained and mentored several prospective fast bowlers, Indian and foreign over the years. One of the more famous instances had Sachin Tendulkar turning up at the academy as a teenager wanting to become a fast bowler. Having seen him bat and bowl, Lillee recommended that he concentrate on his batting and forget about his dreams of becoming a pacer.
The MRF pace academy in Chennai has been the alma mater for innumerable pace bowlers world over. Most young Indian fast bowlers go through their paces in the early years at the academy, also most comebacks from injuries and poor form for Indian bowlers have their beginnings at this institution. In his interview with Deccan Chronicle, Lillee stated that Munaf Patel and Sreesanth were two of the biggest disappointments for him, while Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad were ones whom he appreciated the most.