MUMBAI: The BCCI‘s National Cricket Academy (NCA) is going to recruit two coaches – batting and bowling – with emphasis on hybrid tutoring and refined cricketing education on Wednesday.
Former India captain Rahul Dravid, the director at NCA, is overseeing the recruitment process and BCCI president, also Dravid’s long-time teammate, Sourav Ganguly is assisting/backing Dravid with the formalities.
To that extent, the BCCI is in the middle of hiring coaching staff at the NCA once again after it had last decided, in October 2020, not to renew the ongoing contracts of coaches who were engaged by the academy two years ago.
TOI understands BCCI secretary Jay Shah was of the view last year that coaches at the NCA needed to be appointed via a thorough interview process, something that was categorically avoided in 2019. Shah, it is learnt, had further maintained that since the pandemic turned the ecosystem – like any other industry – upside down, a bigger emphasis was needed online until physical interactions – laid low by the relentless Covid – once again became the regular norm.
“But what we’d like to understand now is if the BCCI is okay with this new process being put in place in its present form. As far as we understand, close to 30 applications had come in for these roles of which only less than a dozen were shortlisted. The roles are more suited for those interested in working as batting and bowling educators. What about the India ‘A’ and the India Under-19 teams?” say those tracking developments.
Sources say BCCI expects the bowling and batting coaches appointed at the NCA, under the ongoing process, in the capacity of educators, to double up as coaches for the India ‘A’ and the India ‘Under-19’ teams too, when they play matches at home or overseas.
“It just doesn’t make sense. How can an educator be an on-field coach? The BCCI is the richest cricket body. Then why can’t it appoint professional full-time coaches? Tomorrow, if the ‘A’ or ‘Under-19’ team is on a tour, these same coaches – hired in an educator’s role will travel? Is the Under-19 or ‘A’ team a part-time responsibility?” say those tracking developments.
Further, the candidates appearing for the interview on Wednesday haven’t been told who will be on the interview panel. “Part-time coaches don’t even work at the club level. Here, we’re talking about India’s Under-19 and ‘A’ teams,” say those in the know.
Senior BCCI officials are in tune with these developments and in agreement with the overall confusion at play. “But when you have someone of the stature of Ganguly or Dravid overseeing developments, who else can be expected to speak?” sources add.
When the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) – led by former CAG Vinod Rai – was running the BCCI, a detailed presentation was made to the Board on how the NCA’s coaching unit should function going forward.
The COA decided to “junk” the presentation for reasons undisclosed and the BCCI, after members came to power back in 2019, have continued to ignore the same once again.
“All we can hope for is Rahul and Sourav take a broader look at the way things are being done. The likes of Rishikesh Kanitkar, Amol Muzumdar, Narendra Hirwani, Wasim Jaffer, S Badrinath and so many others with major accomplishments are available. Why can’t the BCCI look at the bigger picture when it comes to the NCA?” say those in the know.