After veteran pacer, Ishant Sharma had to miss out on the ongoing second and final Test against New Zealand in Hagley Oval, Christchurch due to an ankle injury, questions are once again being raised on the injury management and rehabilitation process followed at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

“It would be interesting to see what are the changes in the scan reports when he was declared fit and the ones taken now. Look, Dravid is one of the most respected players we have but the administration is objective and ruthless. While one would think it blasphemous to be critical of his coaching or mentoring decisions, the decisions relating to administration will definitely be scrutinised and criticised, especially when they concern the handling of one of our most precious assets that are Ishant,” said a BCCI official.

“Since Rahul is apparently the primary decision-maker at the NCA, it would therefore only be natural that he should take responsibility for the processes and decisions,” the official added.

In the past, NCA’s handling of wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also questioned.

The official further questioned the backing given to head physio Ashish Kaushik despite his repeated failures.

“Given the magnitude of backing that Dravid has lent to Kaushik, it is time for him to stand up and take responsibility for the blunders at the NCA. Maybe it would be better to hire an objective and neutral person as a Physio. Dravid must realise that there are new office bearers who are responsible to the General Body and things have changed over the past year,” he explained.

A BCCI functionary pointed at how the whole Ishant episode once again showed that the NCA refusing to test Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness since he had undergone rehabilitation away from the academy means nothing as the pacer clearly came back fully fit, unlike Ishant.

“Does the fitness test really mean anything anymore? Bumrah wasn’t administered a fitness test and has been playing without any problems and Ishant who had been cleared is injured again.

“I find it somewhat shocking that the NCA did not conduct a fitness test of Bumrah and this raises the larger question as to whether a fitness test is mandatory for someone returning from injury or no,” the functionary pointed.

Reports suggest that Sharma might miss out on the initial phase of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) as well.

(With IANS inputs)