Namit Deshpande becomes first NRI to start for India
New Delhi, Oct 9 (PTI) Central defender Namit Deshpande, from Maryland, USA, today created history of sorts by becoming the first Non Resident Indian (NRI) to represent India across any age group.
Deshpande achieved the feat when he was included in the Indian starting line for the FIFA U-17 World Cup match against Colombia at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Deshpande became a part of the Bethseda Soccer Club in Maryland, where he got the first taste of the US Soccer Development Academy.
His parents left Mumbai when Deshpande was just eight years old.
This was possible due to the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) scouting programme.
He sent his video clippings to AIFF and impressed with his skills, he was call for trials. He passed the test and was included in former coach Nicolai Adam's probables list.
Deshpande also impressed current coach Luis Norton de Matos, who had no hesitation in including him in his scheme of things for the world event