Likely key decisions on women’s cricket, NCA at apex council meeting

CRUCIAL DECISIONS

BCCI is in talks with another board to find out if there are top foreign players available for the fourth edition of the WT20C

BCCI is in talks with another board to find out if best foreign players are available for the fourth issue of the WT20C © BCCI

Key decisions on the international FTP of the India women’s team and the hiring of backroom staff, as well as on the expansion of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) are likely at the Friday (April 16) meeting of the apex council of the Cricket Management Board in India. (BCCI).

Items 10 and 11 on the agenda of the apex council meeting relate to women’s cricket – appointment of support staff for women’s team, and discussion on international women’s FTP, but item no. It is understood that 6 relates to an update on the NCA RFP (Request for Proposal) as a board priority.

Development of the NCA has been in the works for some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused delays. A few months ago, Rahul Dravid, head of Cricket India, was at the Mumbai office of the BCCI to give a presentation on Bangalore facility expansion. Other points made by the former India captain included having academies in each province rather than revitalizing the zoning academies – a proposal that was on the BCCI’s earlier board. Cricbuzz understands that Dravid may be of the view that the NCA can be the center of goals for all state academies, including for training and appointing coaches for state centers.

After the meeting, the BCCI is also likely to invite applications for coaches in the NCA who will have to look after different men’s and women’s teams. Competitors for this could be those who recently appeared for the Level 2 courses. It is intended for international cricketers and those who have played over 75 first-class matches. Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Abhinav Mukund, Ramesh Powar and Wasim Jaffer were among those who attended the course.

In terms of women’s cricket, Cricbuzz understands, the stakeholders in the team – selectors and members of the team’s management among others – have made a suggestion to increase the number of league matches in the Women’s T20 Challenge to two against all opponents The roll-out plan has put a fourth team on the back burner for the time being.

The board has largely agreed to the team’s requirements. During the Lucknow games against South Africa, the BCCI provided two physio and a coach for the team. In the first of its kind, a specialist, who works at the NCA, was also flown down.

However, there is no indication whether the BCCI will increase the number of matches, which would add up to a total of seven games including the final. Cricbuzz understands that BCCI is in talks with other boards, including Australia and England, to find out if there are top foreign players available for the fourth issue of the WT20C. With the 5022 50-plus World Cup qualifying matches postponed, the BCCI hopes to have a larger pool of foreign players to choose from.

With a host of Level 2 female coaches in India, the national side is also likely to rack up extra staff in the back room. Cricbuzz understands that the BCCI will likely pass a resolution inviting applications for head coaches, field coaches and bowling for India Women. The team’s head coach, WV Raman, whose contract expired in December 2020, saw his season extend the first international assignment of the women’s team since the COVID-19 enforcement break, against South Africa. Spin consultant and bowling coach Narendra Hirwani and field expert Abhay Sharma stayed on with the side for the white-ball series in Lucknow.

Interestingly, since Saba Karim, a general manger who looked after women’s cricket, left last December, the BCCI has not had a designated head to look into the women’s wing. Karim, Dhiraj Malhotra, has not been replaced by a portrait. The new GM was asked to handle domestic (male) cricket, ICC events and the NCA. A decision on this is also likely at Friday’s meeting.

© Cricbuzz

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