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15-year-old Indian cricketer making eyes roll with stellar performances

Macneil has scored three centuries and twelve half-centuries this season and is touted for bigger things in the future.

Macneil Hadley India Dubai Cricket
15-year-old cricket prodigy Macneil Hadley Noronha (Image courtesy: Emirates247.com)

Cricket has a crazy following in India no doubt but the success of Macneil Hadley Noronha, the 15-year-old born in Dubai to Indian parents, termed as a run-machine by his coaches at the Desert Club Cricket Academy based in the most famous emirate in the UAE, proves that the sport even manages to traverse boundaries in its path. 

Macneil has carved a name for himself scoring 1740 runs in a year in UAE and India while representing The Millennium School, Dubai, Desert Cubs Cricket Academy (DCCA) and Mangalore district in the Under-16 zonal tournament in Karnataka. Earmarked as one to look out for in the future at a very young age, he fondly remembers his first century scored in India against Udupi district back in 2014. 

“I scored 114 not out on May 5. That’s actually memorable because in India there are a lot of turning pitches. Scoring a hundred is very good unlike in Dubai where you get flat pitches. It gave me the confidence to play in India on spinning wickets,” Macneil said, as reported by Emirates247.com

He further enhanced his cricket education in India under the guidance of Samuel Jayaraj Muthu, a coach from Karnataka Institute of Cricket in Bangalore and Macneil credits the improvement in his game attained there as instrumental in his success since then. 

“That’s where I got all my techniques properly and I thought if I come to Desert Cubs I would advance my technique. I started scoring runs and in every tournament, I score at least a 50,” he said.

Right after returning to Dubai, Macneil smashed a 72-ball 102 in Dubai when Dave Whatmore chose 16 teams for a tournament at Skyline University in 2014. He has never looked back since and in fact, he has only gotten better with time. He has already scored three centuries and twelve fifties this season and talking about his art of scoring big, Macneil said that patience was vital for anyone who wanted to play a long innings at the crease. 

“It’s about patience and technique. If you stay at the wicket, runs will come automatically. I don’t think like some people who go impatiently to the wicket,” Macneil, who idolises RCB’s Indian duo of Virat Kohli and Lokesh Rahul, said.

DCCA head coach Presley Polonnowita considers Macneil to be a special talent and is in awe of the maturity displayed by the youngster that goes beyond his age. 

“When somebody joins it is difficult for him to get highlighted inside our big academy. But I heard a lot of good things about him, especially his commitment at the nets. I understood his free-scoring pattern, hunger to score runs and passion for the game,” said Polonnowita who saw his immense potential when the academy toured Australia last year.

“He was playing Under-15 but we wanted someone to play for Under-19 as well because we were running short of players. He came up and faced the challenge. From there onwards I have seen a big change in him and saw how committed his parents were to reduce his baby fat,” recalled Polonnowita.

Macneil’s father, an affluent businessman in Dubai, endorsed the coach’s words and said that as parents they will always support their child as he aims to take the next step in his career.

“I’m expecting his God-given talent to come out. Whatever step he reaches, we are there to support him. We are not putting more pressure on him. He is a special talent, a natural player. He is prepared to play any shot because his body can adjust,” he said.  

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