Rajasthan hires Greg Chappell for its academy
Greg Chappell will return to Indian cricket six months after he left it, this time as an advisor to the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) for its Centre of Excellence. Chappell, who left India in early April, is expected to take up his new assignment on October 1 and will be joined by Ian Fraser, who was the Indian team's biomechanist when Chappell was the coach.
Chappell quit as India coach after the World Cup in the Caribbean and is currently with the Australian Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. While he will be working on a six-month tenure, Fraser will be employed on a near-fulltime basis.
The RCA president, Lalit Modi, who announced their coming on board, said it would take the Rajasthan Cricket Academy - where the centre will be based - to the forefront of development of cricket "not just in Rajasthan, but across India and the entire cricket-playing world."
The move does not come as a surprise as it had been in the works for a while. In July, Chappell told the IANS agency he was negotiating such a deal with Modi.
Soon after he quit the India job, Chappell had given a presentation to the Indian board which emphasised the importance of fitness and the development of youth. Chappell was subsequently offered a position at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore but that did not work.
A press release from the RCA said the academy would have five indoor pitches, 24 outdoor practice wickets, a full video analysis system, a state-of-the-art gymnasium and an electronic data library and will accommodate 70 students.
It quoted Chappell as saying students at the academy would be coached using new techniques as "first class and international cricket is becoming demanding for players. Training methods of the past will not be suitable for the player of the future who will need to be fitter, stronger and more resilient, more flexible."
Modi said a new training programme had been developed with help from Chappell and Fraser. "In the first phase, we will be recruiting 110 students in five batches of 22 from Rajasthan," he said. "Each batch will be in training for two weeks. And it will be for boys in the age group of 16 to 19 years." A programme for students from outside Rajasthan will be announced in November 2007.