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Ample scope for India to learn from Australia's Centre of Excellence

india Updated: Feb 18, 2012 23:42 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Amol Karhadkar
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Even as locals relaxed on a hot Saturday afternoon doing what virtually every Australian loves to do - guzzle beer - there was frantic activity at the Allan Border Field, the home of Queensland cricket.

As Brian McFadyen, the programme manager, takes you on a guided tour of the facilities at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence (CoE), you see Greg Chappell, the national talent manager, interviewing a group of U-18 players; a trainer filming a young bowler's stance; physios working on another youngsters body and another set of youngsters working tirelessly under the watchful eyes of the coaching staff.

And when McFadyen, who was Australia's coach during the last U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, informs you that CoE, the Australian equivalent of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore, has 20 employees and as many consultants, it startles you. For a nation with just six states, there are a whole lot of coaches and support staff at the facility.

Misplaced priorities
Compare this with the NCA, which has 12 coaching staff and 10 administrative personnel, including a senior driver and a vehicle manager.

The number of employees at the BCCI headquarters outnumbers the coaching staff at the CA academy.

While the NCA, which was supposed to be a "finishing school" at the time of inception a little over a decade ago, has become a "rehabilitation centre" for injured cricketers, the Centre of Excellence continues to be an academy dedicated to the cause of nurturing talent.

Standardised system
"It's a developmental academy," stresses head coach Troy Cooley, the former England and Australia bowling coach.

"The emphasis is on first selecting and then developing quality cricketers. We stress on standardised coaching.

"We compile the data of every single player and then widely circulate it so that coaches don't end up confusing a player," Cooley says.

When will we see such a model replicated in Indian?