The BCCI has chosen not to reestablish the agreements of 11 National Cricket Academy (NCA) mentors, four of them previous India players, in the wake of the Covid-19 emergency, on account of which there has been no movement at the foundation in Bengaluru for as long as hardly any months and no designs for a restart soon. The BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the board would promote for the positions and the individuals not held can likewise apply once more.
These mentors – previous players Subroto Banerjee, Shiv Sunder Das, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Ramesh Powar, Mansur Ali Khan and Sitanshu Kotak among them – were on one-year contracts for pay rates running from INR 30 lakh to INR 50 lakh [$40,750 to $67,900 approx.]. They were educated by Rahul Dravid, the NCA chief, that they would not be required after the arrangements end on September 30. Different individuals from the instructing staff to lose their positions are Rajiv Dutta, Apurva Desai, Atul Gaikwad, Subhadeep Ghosh, and T Dilip.
As indicated by Ganguly, the board was essentially keeping the principles spread out in the BCCI constitution. “Their (the coaches’) term has expired,” Ganguly told ESPNcricinfo. “As per constitution, new advertisement has to be given and they can apply again. That’s the rule.”*
On their part the mentors commented there was no unmistakable explanation passed on to them.
“It came as a shock, because there was no warning, when Rahul called me and said he had some bad news for me,” one of the mentors told ESPNcricinfo on state of namelessness. “There is no cricket (because of Covid-19), so they probably don’t want to continue with us. The people who were on long-term contracts are still there, but we have been told to go.”
“It is unfortunate, but the contracts have not been renewed,” a senior BCCI functionary told ESPNcricinfo. “The thought was to draw in them for an entire year, and not on a piecemeal premise, when the NCA got them to work when they were free. So they worked with the public groups – India ladies, India Under-19, India A, Women’s Under-19s, Women’s A group – and for our public camps, across age gatherings, for ladies and men, which are directed at NCA consistently.
“A lot of good work was going on, with these coaches and all the other people, in the educational wing, where (former India cricketer) Sujith Somasundar is in charge. I hope we consider re-employing them when work resumes at NCA again.”
While Dravid was inaccessible for input, one of the mentors we addressed clarified how intently the previous India chief had worked with the training staff to “try and take Indian cricket to the next level”.
“Rahul had handpicked all of us (coaches), and it was done with a plan in place. We have made plans and programmes together, to try and take Indian cricket to the next level, become the best in the world for a long period,” one of the mentors said. “We have had gatherings twice consistently through the pandemic as well. Work has been going on.
“Maybe we will be taken back later, but there are no guarantees.”
The mentors being referred to were recruited around a year prior by the Supreme Court-designated Committee of Administrators, who were accountable for helming the issues of the BCCI till October a year ago, on Dravid’s proposal, with a consent to work 120 days throughout the year.
Previously, before Dravid assumed responsibility, the BCCI would choose mentors on a specially appointed premise, generally as advisors. Previous cricketers would be roped in for short stretches to control all age-gatherings. Nonetheless, once Dravid was named as NCA’s overseer of cricket, he put out a guide part of which his vision to give introduction and development to Indian homegrown mentors.
Alongside Saba Karim, Dravid shortlisted applicants they thought could serve in various positions. These mentors were then turned at India A, ladies’ cricket and Under-19 levels notwithstanding their obligations at the NCA to assist them with picking up the experience of being out and about and understanding the more extensive difficulties of training.
*This article was refreshed at 10am GMT with cites from Sourav Ganguly.