India news March 20, 2014

India tie-up with England, Australia to revamp NCA

The BCCI has decided to put in place a new structure on the lines of the state-of-the-art high performance centres based in Australia and England as part of the revamp of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. The BCCI will tie-up with the both Cricket Australia and the ECB to get experts in for helping draw the new structure.

In the new plan the NCA will have a tie-up with the MRF Pace Foundation to train the fast bowlers from across the country. At a meeting of the NCA board committee, chaired by Kerala Cricket Association president TC Mathew, the BCCI also decided to scrap the three specialist academies (Mumbai - batting, Mohali - fast bowling and Chennai - spin) and replaced them with zonal academies. A separate women's cricket academy will also soon come into existence, it has been revealed. It was also decided to strengthen the academy in the North-East. The NCA will also sign a tie-up with Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai to facilitate player rehab and biomechanics.

"We want to upgrade the syllabus, the nature of coaching and start afresh. We are going to have tie-up with the cricket academies in Australia and England," Mathew told ESPNcricinfo. "We found the faculty as well as the teaching methodology to be obsolete. We have to upgrade to the new standards," he said.

According to Mathew the NCA had become "redundant" in the way it was functioning. The NCA was originally set up to help in the development of young players and become the feeding line to the senior state and national teams. But the absence of an able and permanent figurehead reduced it to a rehab centre, and not the world-class academy that could house eminent coaches to help upgrade skills of young players.

Further controversy riddled the NCA when in 2011 former India captain Anil Kumble quit as NCA chairman, revealing the difference of vision between him and the rest of the committee.

The plan to overhaul the NCA and tie-up with MRF was originally proposed last year but had been lying dormant since last August. According to Mathew, N Srinivasan had instructed his committee to review the NCA. "He wanted a thorough overhaul of the NCA. So now the NCA would be strengthened in many ways. We have to change with times" Mathew said.

Matthew said that an overhaul was also necessary as it was the "backbone" of Indian cricket. According to him the committee found that some of the faculty members were doubling up as examiners. "You cannot be conducting courses as well as judge players as an examiner. Going forward the two roles would be exclusive," Mathew said.

The NCA committee will be meeting end of this month to put in place an elaborate plan with various deadlines.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo