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‘I am on top of the world’: cricketing legend opens up about University of London experience

Former cricketer Venkatesh Prasad achieved a Postgraduate Certificate in International Sports Management from the University of London. Now he speaks about what it was like.

Venkatesh Prasad at Graduation 2022
Venkatesh Prasad attended the University of London Graduation 2022 ceremony in London.

Cricketing legend Venkatesh Prasad wowed lovers of the sport when he took 6 for 33 during a game in India in 1999.

Venkatesh, 53, who received one of India’s highest sporting honours – the Arjuna Award – in 2000, went on to work as a coach.

Now, he has claimed another hat trick, having achieved a Postgraduate Certificate in International Sports Management from the University of London.

“I am on top of the world. I never dreamt that I would be doing my postgraduate at this point of time in my career, in my life.

“Getting a Postgraduate Certificate from a university like the University of London, that’s huge,” he says, speaking in his graduation cap and gown at a ceremony held in London in July 2022.

“I am extremely excited, and it’s great to be here in London and with the University of London,” he adds with a smile.

The course, which has been developed by the University of London with the World Academy of Sport, has been a “great learning experience as far as I am concerned, and I would definitely recommend it to a lot of people.

“There is no doubt about it.”

The flexible online format enabled Venkatesh to enrol in 2021, avoiding the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and fitting his studies around his other commitments.

He also enjoyed exchanging ideas with a diverse group of students. "It was wonderful to talk to them and get to know their ideas, what they are thinking, how they're going about in their respective countries.”

The study experience was challenging, he admits, but he received support from his loved ones. “The sacrifice, encouragement and the support from my family and my very close ones, they really helped me to do this.”

The flexible programme, which covers all the latest sports management strategy, routinely attracts elite athletes like Venkatesh.

Venkatesh explored core topics like strategy and financial management in addition to his two electives, ‘international sports development’ and ‘sports marketing, sponsorship and media’.

He found the material “challenging and extremely interesting.”

“As a player, you won’t get to know that the financial aspect in sport is equally important,” he says.

Venkatesh feels it is important for former players to “give back to sports and to develop the game, no matter which game one is playing.”

Governance is extremely important to make sure that you have certain structures certain systems in place and keep on taking the game to the next level, have the right policies, make sure you're taking care of the players.

He aspires to use his training at the University of London to make an even greater contribution to the cricketing industry.

Studying the programme has “put me in a position where I can put these systems and structures [in place] to make sure I would be able to develop the sport and take it to the next level.”

He hopes to one day serve as part of a cricketing governing body and is considering his options.

I would like to definitely contribute much more than what I’ve already done, being a player, being a coach and being on the other side of the field, being in the administrative section of sports.

“But now, yes, I would like to take the game to the next level.”