Though the conditions on the recent tours of England and Australia offered more assistance for the bowlers than in the subcontinent, Indian bowlers found the going tough. On the back of the continued struggle, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has come up with an initiative to unearth bowling talent from across the country.
The staff of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will oversee the open trials for pacemen, which will be held in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to begin with, between February 18 to 29, 2012. Boys aged between 17 and 22, who have not participated in any BCCI-run tournament, will be eligible. The bowlers will be shortlisted by former medium-pacers Karsan Ghavri and Yoginder Puri, who will supervise the trials.
According to BCCI secretary, Sanjay Jagdale, the initiative has been launched with the hope it will help unearth talent that can graduate to play at the highest level. “It is a long term plan that should bring in more consistency amongst India's bowlers. Though it is too early to say, we do hope that it'll help India as soon as possible.”
BCCI hopes to unearth another Umesh Yadav from the programme, India's latest bowler to have shown promise.
“We plan to unearth talent from areas that don't have exposure to cricket. The emergence of the likes of Umesh shows we may find talent anywhere.
“We want to target tribal areas too so that tribal players have a chance to play. We want bowlers who can bowl really quick or can be excellent spinners.”