BCCI top brass meets at NCA, chalks out plan

Sahan Bidappa

Mumbai, Jan. 30 -- It might be a bit too late, but as they say, it's better late than never. The top brass of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has finally woken up to the fact that Indian cricket needs a roadmap.

Since India's pathetic performances in England and Australia, where they were thrashed 0-4, there have been calls, loud and clear, for the administration to address the problems plaguing the system immediately.

But, what should have been done a year ago - it's exactly 12 months since India's away misery was complete in Australia - the BCCI is trying to rectify now.

On Tuesday, the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore was the venue for the decision-makers of Indian cricket to assemble.

BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty, NCA chairman Ranjib Biswal, NCA staff, selectors and the entire support staff of the various Indian teams - senior, A and junior - was present to discuss the road ahead.

Winds of change

While no path-breaking decisions are expected to come out of the meeting, but, at least, there are signs of intent. It is learnt that the discussions revolved around improving the bench strength and also create a bigger talent pool - mainly bowlers.

On Tuesday, 18 bowlers - 12 pacers and 8 spinners - completed a three-day camp with India coach Duncan Fletcher and bowling coach Joe Dawes.

Sources said the duo wasn't impressed much with what they saw, though they have been given the job of pruning the list to 10, who will be assessed quarterly.

Chance at top level

They will also be get a chance at the India team nets so that they stay motivated and get exposure. A camp for promising batsmen will also be held soon.

"At times, the coaches and support staff are not in a position to see those who have done well (in domestic cricket). Basically, we are trying to create a pool of cricketers, so we had some selected players who the support staff and coaches could see," said Jagdale.

Another important agenda was to find a way for better co-ordination between the NCA and support staff of the various Indian teams, with injury management being the main issue.

Often, the Indian support staff has found it tough to get the status of injury-prone players. Jagdale agreed that frequent injuries to bowlers were an area of concern.

"This meeting is basically to have a better co-ordination between the NCA, the (Indian team) support staff and the 'A' team support staff so that there is uniformity in fitness levels and skill management. Also, we need to monitor the fitness and skill levels of upcoming cricketers," the secretary said.

Meanwhile, there was a lengthy discussion on the appointment of a spin coach for the India team.

Jagdale also said that no name had been finalised for the post of NCA director. The seat has been lying vacant ever since Sandeep Patil became the chief selector.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.