India news December 24, 2011

BCCI to pick fast-bowling pool

Anil Kumble may have quit as chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore, citing his vision did not match that of the BCCI's, but the Indian board has accepted one of his recommendations and asked the five-man national selection panel to immediately pick a pool of fast bowlers who would form the bench strength for the Indian team. The pool would comprise players from India's senior state teams as well as those from the Under-19 level.

"Anil Kumble, when he was the chairman of the NCA, had recommended that we gather a pool of fast bowlers who can be monitored round the clock through the year even during the off season," Sanjay Jagdale, the BCCI secretary, told ESPNcricinfo. Kumble's suggestion, part of his vision plan for the NCA, was instantly liked by Jagdale, a former selector, who tabled the point in front of the BCCI office bearers and they readily gave their approval.

"I liked the idea which we discussed and the members agreed. I have asked the selectors to send names of fast bowlers from the Under-19 and the senior state squads," Jagdale said. "The idea is to have a ready pool of bowlers who can be given all the help to keep them match ready when the need arises."

It is understood that the national selectors are more than happy to give their suggestions and will send a list to Jagdale as soon as possible. Reportedly, the selection panel, led by Kris Srikkanth, will nominate no more than 15 fast bowlers. Jagdale pointed out the pool would be monitored through the year and mostly spend time at the NCA. It is likely that a specialist coach could be appointed in a paid job to look after the fast bowlers.

Venkatesh Prasad, the former India fast bowler, who was India's bowling coach between 2007 and 2009 had given a 10-point plan on fast bowling to the BCCI during the tour of England in 2007. One specific point dealt with creating a pool of fast bowlers, who, Prasad noted, should be monitored by a specialist coach round the clock.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo