In 1987 Mr. Ravi Mammen, Managing Director of MRF, decided to set up a premier Academy to develop
world class pace bowlers for India.MRF Pace Foundation is a coaching clinic for training fast bowlers
from all over the world. Based in Chennai, India, it was founded in 1987 by MRF Limited, with the help of
former Australian pace spearhead Dennis Lillee. Through this program, young aspiring fast bowlers are
trained in a facility located at the campus of Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School,
The MRF Pace Foundation conducted its first selection camp in 1987, in which aspirants from all over
the country turned up for selections. One of the aspirants to attend this selection camp was Sachin
Within a short span of two years, the first trainee from MRF Pace Foundation – Vivek Razdan – was
selected for the Indian cricket team’s tour of Pakistan in 1989.
Fast bowlers who have trained with the MRF Pace Foundation and gone on to represent the Indian
Cricket Team include Vivek Razdan, Javagal Srinath, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Venkatesh Prasad, R.
P. Singh, Zaheer Khan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth. Besides Indian players, foreign players like
Chaminda Vaas,Henry Olonga, Heath Streak and Australian fast bowlers Glenn McGrath, Mitchell
Johnson and Brett Lee have also trained at the Foundation. Sachin Tendulkar in his school days trained
in the MRF Pace Foundation to become a fast bowler.
Unfortunately Mr.Ravi Mammen passed away in 1990.Thereafter, Mr.Vinoo Mammen, elder brother of
late Mr.Ravi Mammen, took over the responsibility of managing the MRF Pace Foundation. He ensured
that the MRF Pace Foundation was provided with world-class infrastructure and facilities.He also
broadened the MRF Pace Foundation’s horizons, by opening its facilities to trainees from other nations.
The Foundation tied-up with international cricket boards such as Cricket Australia, England and Wales
Cricket Board, Sri Lankan Cricket Board, etc. These tie-ups helped the trainees and the support staff of
the MRF Pace Foundation to get exposure to the best training methodologies available in the
world.Under the leadership of Mr. Vinoo Mammen, the MRF Pace Foundation continued its successful
journey, with several trainees – including Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, Zaheer Khan and Irfan
Pathan – being selected to represent the country. Till date, 17 trainees from the MRF Pace Foundation
have played for India.In 2012, Dennis Lillee decided to retire, after spending 25 years as the Director of
the MRF Pace Foundation. He passed on the torch to Glenn McGrath, who is the most successful pace
bowler in test cricket till date, and who had also attended the MRF Pace Foundation as a trainee in
1991.The MRF Pace Foundation continues its illustrious journey, with single-minded focus on its mission
of producing world-class pace bowlers for India.
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