Rahul Dravid may be approached for the post of the director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. Nishad Pai Vaidya discusses the merits if Dravid takes it up and why he could be the man for the job.
The nation’s premier cricket academy was established with a vision to groom young talent and mentor the promising. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Irfan Pathan and Suresh Raina, to name a few, benefitted from their stint at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore as they went on to build their respective international careers. However, lately, the NCA has also been criticised; Karsan Ghavri even called it a rehab centre as it caters to the injured Indian players. But, isn’t focusing on talent its primary objective? What can be done to make it a stronger resource centre? Perhaps, a sound leader committed to the cause may help.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may approach Rahul Dravid to take up the post of the director of the NCA. As the previous incumbent, Sandeep Patil, assumed the role of the chairman of selectors, that pivotal post is currently vacant and the BCCI are looking for a suitable replacement. The likes of Brijesh Patel, Shivlal Yadav, Dav Whatmore and Sandeep Patil have been handed responsibilities to train the youngsters there in recent times. Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Ravi Shastri have also been former chairmen.
If one looks at the list, one would find that with the exception of Brijesh Patel and Anil Kumble, all reside outside Bangalore. That makes their task of managing the academy even more difficult as their personal and other commitments may keep them away from the city. Even Kumble would have been preoccupied with his business commitments. Thus, you need someone who can give the academy his valuable time and effort.
With Dravid stationed in Bangalore, he would be in a much better position to give his time to the academy. As one official pointed out to the Indian Express, Dravid stays in Bangalore, and it shows the authorities have taken that into account.
Dravid’ excellent knowledge of the game and staunch discipline would be a huge example for the youngsters. Some of them may have seen him train at the very academy until a few years ago. Even after he had written his name amongst the greats, he continued to toil at the academy to prepare for a tour or oil his machinery. That commitment is exemplary and his iconic status would be a huge inspiration for those who train there.
India is also looking to groom batsmen who can adjust to overseas conditions and Dravid has been one of India’s most successful batsmen away from home. His knowledge is priceless having scored tons of runs in almost every territory. At the same time, many India players also head to the academy for their preparation. Before any overseas tour, the batsmen can pick his brains and learn the nuances of making the adjustment and what helped him succeed. Plus, Dravid has always had his head on his shoulders and is one of most affable characters in Indian cricket. Despite his star status, he would be very approachable and willing to help the juniors.
However, there may be only one problem. Since retirement, Dravid has been in the media — serving as a commentator. Those assignments may keep him away from Bangalore for some time and he may not be able to give his full effort. Nevertheless, Dravid’s commitment is unquestionable — if he takes up a challenge, he completes it. In putting the team before himself throughout his career, he has given ample evidence of his great character. Thus, if Dravid does indeed take it up, expect 100 per cent dedication from him. India’s future would be in very safe hands.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)