CHENNAI: A state-of-the-art indoor facility, a spacious gym facility and four unique pitches with different characteristics. These are the things that strike you at Coaching Beyond — a new initiative launched by former Indian player and head coach Ravi Shastri along with former players Bharat Arun, R Sridhar on Thursday at the St John's Cricket Academy in Secunderabad.
The unique first of its kind facility includes coaching programme that has the ability to empower grassroot-level coaches across the country. While the new facility in Secunderabad was launched on Thursday, the next stop for Cricket Beyond will be in Chennai at the Omega International School.
Shastri, Arun and Sridhar, who were part of the Indian team as support staff from 2014-2021, have roped in Dr Kinjal Suratwala to draw up the coaching programme.
Suratwala was previously at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
"All of it started during the first lockdown. When there is knowledge, experience and talent and that kind of magnitude around, we thought, when once we finish our term, we should give it back to the grassroot level. So we got into a conversation and Arun and Sridhar being as passionate as they are about coaching, came on board. And then came the question where it should be? And that is when John Manoj came in, and we are here now," Shastri said.
The indoor arena at the Hyderabad facility is named after John Manoj. While there are specific programmes for kids, Cricket Beyond will also focus on empowering the grass root level coaches. "We have seen the facilities around the world and the curriculum that certified coaches get overseas.
So there will be exchange programmes with our set up and theirs. The reason for having a dedicated programme for coaches is to empower them to have a strong cricket culture. So in that programme, he gets the opportunity to go and coach at the grassroots. They will gain first hand experience and if they pass the test, one leads to another," Shastri said.
Arun pointed out that the shortage of coaches in India is one of the primary reasons for including the coaching programme. "We roped in Suratwala for our coach education programme because of the experience he brings. We want to give the coaching programme at an affordable and nominal fees.
We need close to 5 million coaches in India, but we have only 3500 qualified coaches. We are having online tutorials too, which will make it easy to access," Arun said.