CHENNAI: Thanks to the slow progress in the National Cricket Academy’s (NCA) revamp plans, India pacers have been denied a golden chance — ahead of the important tour of England — to train under Australian pace legend Glenn McGrath in the ongoing camp at the MRF Pace Foundation.
When the NCA board led by chairman TC Mathew came up with a plan to restructure the NCA in March, one of the biggest draws was a tie-up with the foundation. It meant a chance for the India bowlers to learn from McGrath, director at MRF Pace Foundation, starting with this camp in June.
Confirming that none of the India bowlers selected for England (apart from Ishwar Pandey and Varun Aaron, who are products of the foundation) will be part of the ongoing camp, Mathew told Express, “Following the tie-up with MRF, we planned to get the players in time for this camp. But due to the delay, our bowlers will get his expertise in the next camp likely in October.”
The proposed overhaul was supposed to start in June, but internal matters within the board ensured the drag continued and in between, the board officials were caught up with the Indian Premier League. On top of the NCA’s revamp plan then was the change of coaching and support staff who would also take care of the India A side. And the job of finding a new coach and support staff was entrusted to Brijesh Patel, who was appointed the director of NCA in May.
It is reliably learnt that former India bowling coach and medium pacer Venkatesh Prasad is among several candidates who have applied for the chief coach’s position. Patel, however, said there is no plan to appoint any coach. “The NCA already has enough coaches so I don’t see the point in finding a new one. No one has told me about it,” he said.
On the other hand, Mathew confirmed that the NCA has already shortlisted a few names for the coach, and will take a call on this when the board meets later this month. “We have a few applicants for the job. By this month end or by early July we will definitely have a new coach,” he said.
With the India A team set to travel to Australia in mid July, the inability to find a new coach means some one like Lalchand Rajput might be given temporary charge.