The Board of Control for Cricket in India is eyeing a long-term association with the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai so that India's young quicks can have access not just to the facilities at the Foundation but also the expertise of Glenn McGrath, its head coach.
Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's Game Development Officer, said on Saturday (August 31) that the Board was exploring options towards that end. "We are planning a long-term tie-up with them," Shetty said. "This is for the fast bowlers' training, rehab and whenever McGrath is there, our bowlers could go there."
The MRF tie-up is one of the topics discussed at the last meeting of the National Cricket Academy which will be tabled before the Working Committee of the BCCI when it meets in Kolkata on Sunday. "There are a couple of (other) decisions in the last NCA meeting that will come up in the Working Committee meeting," Shetty said. "One was about the three specialist academies of the National Cricket Academy. Actually, it should be the NCA, zonal academies and state academies, that should be the structure. The offer from Karnataka State Cricket Association to use the Alur facility (for the NCA) will also be discussed. KSCA is our member, offering a facility, but we haven't planned anything yet."
Shetty was talking at the conclusion of the two-day State Academies' coaches workshop which concluded at the NCA in Bangalore on Saturday. In all, 25 coaches from various associations attended the workshop, including Syed Kirmani, who is the director of the RC-KSCA Academy.
"The last workshop was held in 2009 and there is a mandate from the BCCI to the State Associations to start an academy," Shetty said. "We want to know what has happened, find out the type of activities carried out since 2009. It is a good idea to bring everybody together and when an association like the KSCA makes a presentation about what has happened here since 2009 or Andhra or Maharashtra Cricket Association... Things have developed here (at the KSCA) in the real cricketing sense. They have gone to the districts, they have focussed on good playfields, minimum facilities and training facilities. The idea is that everyone should know the need for a good physiotherapist and a trainer. Every Academy should have a qualified physiotherapist and a trainer. Although we conduct annual courses on anti-doping for every state and we started doping tests from last season, this season it will be for many more matches.
"We don't want a case like Pradeep Sangwan (the Delhi left-arm paceman who failed a drugs test during the Indian Premier League), he is the first case. We feel sad for him because we need our boys to have somebody who is available to them so that if somebody has suggested a medicine, this somebody will tell the player whether the medicine is permitted or not. Those type of things are important for Academies," Shetty said. "Or illegal actions, for example. If a boy is called in the Under-16 age-group, that doesn't mean it's over for him. It is the responsibility of the State Academies to work on that boy and not leave him on his own."
The NCA recently lost the services of B Arun and Dinesh Nanavati, coaches who have quit for various reasons. "We are looking (for candidates). We are looking for people and at a lot of cricketers, who want to come. Rather than we appointing someone, we will call for applications," Shetty said. "I have also written personally to Anil (Kumble), Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid), Sourav (Ganguly) and VVS Laxman because they have used the NCA and they have travelled all over the world. They have seen other Academies; I want them to tell us what is the best way possible in terms of facilities, in terms of structure so that the NCA can really be a Centre of Excellence. I think they will come back (with suggestions) in two weeks time."