Ever since Sourav Ganguly took over as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI], changes have been ringing in thick and fast- both on and off the field. One of the first things that Sourav Ganguly did was to meet the new National Cricket Academy Chief Rahul Dravid and one of the projects that they discussed was the creation of the new Centre of Excellence [COE] to replace the traditional National Cricket Academy which is currently functioning under the Karnataka State Cricket Association campus.
In recent times, the National Cricket Academy has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. But, the work of the Centre of Excellence will go beyond the usual tasks performed by the NCA. The COE will revise its sports medicine approach as it aims to tye up with the leading medical institutions. The COE, which is expected to be made at a whopping amount of Rs 500 Crore will have four grounds where the pitches will be made with the objective of replicating the varied conditions found in countries like England, Australia, and New Zealand.
“There can’t be any specific amount assigned to the project. There will be tenders issued for each work. But going by the initial blueprint that’s in place, it is estimated that the project will cost minimally around Rs 500 crore. There will be improvisations to the blueprint. The project is running six months late but with the new BCCI regime in place, work has begun in full swing. BCCI expects the CoE to be functional in another two years. NCA director Rahul Dravid is actively involved,” a senior official told BCCI as quoted by Times of India.
‘The pitches will be made with an aim to emulate the conditions of Australia, New Zealand etc’- BCCI official
The senior BCCI official also added that there will be a lot of work put into the preparation of the pitches. He added that various types of clay and spoil will be employed in order to replicate the conditions of Australia and other countries. He also revealed that the grounds can be used for both domestic tournaments as well as for the warm-up games for the visiting sides.
“There is a lot of work put into the nature of pitches. Various types of clay and soil will be used for these hybrid pitches to mimic those found in countries like Australia, New Zealand and England. There are zonal games. Touring teams also play warm-up matches and there are other preparatory games organised by the board organizes. The grounds can also be used for domestic tournaments if grounds across the country are not available at any point. There is also an idea to have an NCA team. The BCCI has already got the athlete monitor system and bio-mechanical bowling coach. There are a few more ideas in the pipeline to grow with the modern game.”
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