BCCI may revive programme that nurtured the likes of Dhoni, Raina

  • Somshuvra Laha, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Feb 13, 2016 08:44 IST
The Talent and Research Development Wing, in its earlier avatar, helped find players such as Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni . (Kunal Patil/HT File Photo)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating reviving the Talent Resource Development Wing (TRDW) project that had unearthed players such as MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh and Piyush Chawla more than a decade ago.

The TRDW was introduced in 2002 when Jagmohan Dalmiya was the BCCI president but wasn’t continued with after a few years. But the BCCI, it is learnt, is once again interested in the project and is working out a plan with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) committee.

BCCI joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhary confirmed the development. “Yes we are contemplating reviving the TRDW scheme. It was very successful when it had started over a decade ago. However the exact dates are yet to be finalised,” Choudhary, who is also the convener of the NCA committee, told HT from Ranchi.

If revived, this project could also see a change in the way the NCA has been functioning in recent years. “It could completely transform from a place for rehab to an actual nursery of the brightest talent in India,” said a former India player and coach who is in the know of the details but didn’t wish to be named.

For a long time there were talks of decentralising the NCA and start zonal academies instead. Accordingly, an emergent working committee meeting of the BCCI in September 2013 had recommended five zonal academies along with a dedicated academy for the northeast in Guwahati. Little progress has been made as the proposals lost steam due to the fact that most of the state associations have their own academies. According to several BCCI officials, the proposals also gathered dust due to the constant state of crisis within the BCCI after the IPL fixing scandal.

The situation hasn’t changed much but there is hope that the scheme can be started sometime after the World T20. NCA director Dilip Vengsarkar is said to be upbeat about the project which will also focus on having specialist coaches in batting, spin and pace bowling department. It was Vengasarkar, who along with administrator Makarand Waingankar, had started the original initiative in 2002.

The basics of the project have been chalked out. Former cricketers and coaches will be appointed Talent Resource Development Officers (TRDO) catering to each zone. “The TRDOs will watch U-16 and U-19 matches in each zone and then choose around 30 players. All players will then attend a camp of around 45 days at one of the centres in each zone after which there will be a round of pruning. The final batch of players will be sent to NCA for the next course,” said the former India player.

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