Chennai was the venue for the Indian T20 league game but the all eyes were on the National Cricket Academy committee meeting held in the city.
As reported earlier by HT, the focus was on ways to cut the cost of running the NCA, which the Board felt was spiralling out of control. The academy will be in operation but not in its original form with most activities tapered down. It was decided to slow down activities of the academy step by step.
The committee unanimously decided to prune the support staff from 12 to six, with only three coaches, two physios and a trainer to be retained. Bowling coach Bharath Arun, batting coach Dinesh Nanavati and Kinjal Suratwala, Head, Sports Science & Coach Education, were retained with physios Ashish Kaushik and Nitin Patel and trainer Sudarshan.
But only one physio will be at NCA with other attached to the India team. They will keep switching their roles. To assist them, the committee approved the appointment of a medical doctor, an orthopaedic expert for both injury prevention and treatment.
The rest of the staff will be hired on a freelance basis whenever required. A source said the NCA budget would be cut by 25 to 30 percent. "The academy is only active for four months. For the rest of the time, it is only used by national players for rehabilitation. Thus the salaries were going out of control. NCA needs constant monitoring and there is need to cut down on wasteful expenditure. This measure was long overdue."
Among the 10 administrative staff, only the manager, Col. Ajay Jha, is likely to retain his post.
The annual budget for the U-16 camp will be reduced from Rs. 84 lakhs to Rs. 64 lakhs with most activities to be shifted to the specialised academies in Mumbai, Mohali and Chennai.
The panel left the question of appointing foreign coaches for the academy to another committee. It was decided to invite former players to conduct clinics.
From now on, franchises will have to pay if the want players who are injured during the Indian T20 league to undergo rehabilitation at the NCA.