Shastri & Co sharing tricks of trade with NCA coaches amidst lockdown

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) The coronavirus outbreak might have brought the world to a standstill with sporting events across the globe either being cancelled or suspended, but in a masterstroke, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has ensured that the experience and acumen of Team India coaches Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, Vikram Rathour and R. Sridhar is put to use to enlighten coaches at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

Speaking to IANS on the move, GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim said that the idea had come from NCA head Rahul Dravid’s office where they are looking at more synergy and streamlining of knowledge and information.

“That is the whole idea of having Dravid on board. Since he is heading NCA, the brainstorming and initiation of such an idea comes from his office. It is good that all our national coaches are getting involved and this really augurs well for Indian cricket. Not just the coaches, but also the administrators need to be on one platform to overcome the huge challenge in front of us.

“There has to be a smooth streamlining of the entire faculties from the national team to the U-19 level. There has to be better synergy and exchange of ideas so that all of us are moving towards the same direction,” he explained.

While the Indian team is generally on the road round the year, this is a first when an unforeseen circumstance has seen the national team off the field and at home and to utilise the experience of the likes of Shastri definitely augurs well for the future of Indian cricket. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has already made it clear that his team is looking at revamping the NCA and making it the go-to-place for all budding cricketers.

In fact, with Dravid already at the helm of affairs at the academy, it cannot be a better scenario than to get the national team coaching staff to now interact with the NCA coaching staff and teach them tricks of the trade and the process that is followed in the senior team.

While the team as a whole has become a force to reckon with under head coach Shastri, the Indian bowling unit has become one of the best in the world under Arun. Also, the standard of fielding has improved under Sridhar with the Indian boys now considered one of the better fielding units in world cricket.

In fact, this online idea exchange process is also being followed by the Sports Authority of India as the likes of national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand have been seen interacting not just with budding coaches, but also with athletes in online coaching sessions. Gopichand recently addressed the newly-appointed Assistant Directors of SAI in a special online session and spoke about the need to fund groups rather than individual athletes as that would then automatically create a culture where champions will be made.

The All Indian Football Federation has also worked on creating online courses for referees to help ensure that they stay on top of their game. And Indian referees have gone ahead and spoken highly about the initiative from the AIFF at a time when people are forced to stay indoors to fight the pandemic. SAI Director General Sandip Pradhan also lauded AIFF for conducting an online refresher course for coaches.

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