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Rajasthan's ‘swanky’ academy in doldrums

cricket Updated: Jan 12, 2011 00:25 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times
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Lalit Modi's baby, the Rajasthan Cricket Academy, was supposed to be an example for other state associations and provide the feeder line for the state's cricket which has done well in Ranji Trophy only on the back of cricketers having roots outside the state.

The Academy, which has state of the art facilities, had evoked interest elsewhere too. In fact, when the Aussies came a couple of years back, they preferred a 10-day stint here.

But four years after it was inaugurated and two years after Greg Chappell left, it suffers from a lack of proper curriculum.

"While Chappell was there, we had a system. That is because he had a proper curriculum. There were batches of players with whom Chappell would remain in constant touch, and they would be nurtured," says a local official. Chappell had a commando style training set-up in place. It now lies in a dilapidated state.

"Now there is nothing beyond the Ranji and junior camps. There are just the pre-tournament camps," says the official. "There is no vision now."

The current academy in-charge Tarak Sinha, of Delhi's Sonnet Club fame, took over responsibilities after Chappell left.

A senior Rajasthan Cricket Association official says: "It is because Sinha hasn't been able to devote as much time as we wanted him to. He visits Delhi a bit too often than we expect him to. While renewing his contract in September, we had discussed the matter with him. Let's see. He says he has plans for the coming season."

The cost of running the academy is a problem. A hotel has been given a contract by the RCA to run the academy's residential complex on a commercial basis.

This flouts the Rajasthan High Court order that there should be no commercial activity within the Sawai Man Singh Stadium premises of which the academy is a part of.

A former RCA official says there are enough funds to avoid flouting the HC order. "We got over R 20 crore from the BCCI. Of this R 3 lakh goes to each of the 33 districts for the development of the game. That's just less than a crore.

The academy is a part of the development and it should get more of the remaining money."