April 30, 2001

NCA to open five zonal academies

Staff Reporter

Exactly one year after the National Cricket Academy was formally inaugurated, India's premier coaching body gets ready to welcome its second batch of trainees at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday. The NCA is qualitatively raising its profile this year with the setting up of five zonal academies in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Kanpur operating in sync with the parent body.

Twenty candidates will attend this year's session and virtually all are in the Under-19 age bracket with 23-year-old Bengal stumper Deep Dasgupta the oldest of the lot. The trainees are Vinayak Mane (Mumbai), Y Gnaneswara Rao (Andhra Pradesh), Gautam Gambhir (Delhi), Ishan Ganda (Haryana), Kashinath Khadkikar (Maharashtra), Gaganinder Singh (Punjab), Arindam Das (Bengal), Arjun Yadav (Hyderabad), Ajay Ratra (Haryana), Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan (Tamil Nadu), Raja Ali (Railways), Uday Karkera (Maharashtra), Salil Yadav (Gujarat), Mulewa Dharmichand (Karnataka), Swapnil Hazare (Mumbai), L Balaji (Tamil Nadu), Maninder Singh (Madhya Pradesh), Shalabh Srivastava (Uttar Pradesh), Parthiv Patel (Gujarat) and Deep Dasgupta (Bengal).

Two of the twenty, Ajay Ratra and Deep Dasgupta are also in the list of 25 probables announced by the national selectors to attend the preparatory camp before India's tour of Zimbabwe next month. The camp is also scheduled for Bangalore from September 13-18, with the team to be released on the final day.

An informal meeting of the coaching personnel appointed to the NCA as well as its zonal units has been held over the last couple of days in order to standardise coaching techniques across the board. The staff at the NCA has undergone a reshuffle with KSCA secretary Brijesh Patel taking over from Hanumant Singh as Director. Balwinder Sandhu is the chief coach, K Jayantilal assistant coach and Roger Binny consultant coach.

Hanumant who indicated last December that he was resigning from his post of Director for personal reasons has been accommodated in the NCA Committee chaired by Raj Singh Dungarpur, with Polly Umrigar, Sunil Gavaskar and S Venkataraghavan as the other members. The head of coaching at the five regional centres are: Nari Contractor (West Zone), Yashpal Sharma (North Zone), Kris Srikkanth (South Zone), Arun Lal (East Zone) and Kailash Ghattani (Central Zone).

While four of the five zonal academies, in the North, East, West and Central, will be kicked off on Tuesday, the South Zone academy would commence proceedings a day later. This was announced by Ashok Kumbhat, convenor of the Academy. Kumbhat told PTI in Chennai that the BCCI had advanced a circular for the period from May 2 to 27, advising the zonal academies to pursue the same pattern of coaching and exercises followed in the NCA. "Perhaps, we will get another circular before May 27, as the camp is for a period of two months', Kumbhat said.

The following trainees (all in the Under-19 age group) are to attend the camp: Deepak Chougule, H T Sudhir Rao, Vinay Uthappa, Stuart Binny, Chetan Williams, Senthil Kumar (all Karnataka), A S K Varma, K Srinivasa Rao, P A V N Raju and G Shankar Rao (all from Andhra), T Suman and AT Rayadu (Hyderabad), Vikram Kumar and Vishal Kudua (Tamil Nadu), Sreesanth, Vincent Gomes and Mousam Nathani (Kerala) and Sher Bahadur Yadav (Goa).