Exams come first for Velani but he’s hoping for Essex future

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:13 22 June 2013

Kishen Velani will hope once his exams are out the way to concentrate on the cricket as he aims to secure a professional deal at Essex. Pic: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Kishen Velani will hope once his exams are out the way to concentrate on the cricket as he aims to secure a professional deal at Essex. Pic: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

England under-19 international cricketer Kishen Velani keen to progress up the Essex ranks.

Promising Essex and Wanstead youngster Kishen Velani’s sole focus at the moment may well be his exams but he has an Essex professional contract firmly in his sights.

The 18-year-old has already tasted under-19 international cricket and tours of South Africa and Bangladesh in his fledging career.

And while he wants to make the sport he has been playing since the age of six a profession, studies are coming first at the moment and he even sits an exam on Thursday.

“At the moment it is trying to find the balance between cricket and studies,” said Velani.

“There are three exams left and they are going okay, but after that the sole focus will be cricket once again.”

With a break between exams, Velani, a Brentwood High School sixth former, starred for Wanstead in their fine, five-wicket win over Upminster 13 days ago, scoring 109 from just 67 balls as they were set 311 for victory.

And the youngster was pleased to be able to make such a contribution.

“That was really good to go and do that,” he added. “It was a dry wicket and we knew around 300 was gettable.

“With a gap in the exams it was ideal. You always need a break from revising but to go out there and score all those runs was a good feeling.”

But once the exams are over the youngster is hoping to get some more time in the second team at Essex, where he hopes to earn a professional contract in the not too distant future.

“Essex have been really good with me, understanding that the exams take importance over cricket at the moment,” said Velani.

“I am in regular conversation with Chris Silverwood (second XI and fast bowling coach) and hopefully after the exams are over I can get some time playing in the second team and see where it goes from there.

“The main goal for me is to earn a professional deal at Essex. There is an option on studying at Loughborough University as well, where there is a centre of excellence but we will see what happens.”

And while still only 18, he has helped out brother Mahesh, who coached the Redbridge London Youth Games team.

Velani represented England under-19s over the summer in South Africa and was almost straight off the plane and helping out as the Redbridge squad went to Lord’s for the finals day back in March.

“I played in the London Youth Games myself and I feel it is important to pass on my experiences to the youngsters,” he added.

“Coaching is something I haven’t done a lot of, but the plan is to go down to Wanstead after the exams and help out whenever I can.”

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