The Asian Cricket Council has set up its first ever Centre of Excellence in Dharamsala to help the development of budding players and coaches from the subcontinent, and a few Associate nations. This is another step in the ACC's revival plans put into motion in October.
It was only eight months ago that Ashraful Haq, the ACC CEO at the time, had said they would begin "winding down" operations, and that the 32-year old organisation would be disbanded in June. However, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur came out with several proposals to keep the ACC running and this Centre of Excellence based in Dharamsala is home ground to Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, where Thakur is president.
"The cricket facility features modern indoor and outdoor training facilities and equipment that will allow coaches and sports staff to enhance the development of International cricketers, assisting them prepare for the demands of international competitions," an ACC press release said.
And its president Sidath Wettimuny added, "This will be a significant move in the effort of making the ACC a more dynamic, vibrant and robust body, which will help rapidly promote & develop the sport of cricket in the Asian region."
Thakur offered "full support of BCCI to this centre" and had earlier spoken of how India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh should send their 'A' teams to play in a tournament with Associate nations like Nepal, Afghanistan and Oman.
Last week, the BCCI had signed an MoU allowing Afghanistan to use the Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex, about 40 km away from Delhi, as their home ground. Nepal had trained for the World T20 qualifier in Dharamsala as well, in the wake of the earthquakes in April. And in October, the ACC conducted a conference for 49 coaches from 18 countries in Bangladesh.