Earlier this week, former Indian batting legend Rahul Dravid was appointed as Head of Cricket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, India. The NCA is a facility for budding cricketers to be trained, mentored and coached by professionals for the future. Hence, Dravid’s appointment for such a prestigious and vital post has been welcomed by all and sundry.
Dravid, who has also been the coach of the India A and U-19 teams and has shown remarkable results, is world renowned for his composure, cricketing acumen and integrity. He was a true gentleman in his playing days, had a great understanding of the game and was one of the best batsmen the world has seen. The NCA has several young cricketers and Dravid’s guidance would help hone their skills and mental ability. Not only will Dravid be overseeing the cricketers there, he will also be involved in the mentoring and training of coaches and support staff.
In fact, Dravid will see all cricket-specific activities at the centre and will also work along with head coaches of the national men’s and women’s team along with those of the India A, India U-19, India U-23 teams. It will be his job to determine the essential training procedures and the myriad fields of growth.
This is a huge step and will likely show results in the coming years.
The Board of Cricket in India (BCCI) must be lauded for taking the decision to involve a skilled and knowledgeable cricketer like Rahul Dravid in the overall growth of cricket in the country. This is also a good example for other cricket boards to follow suit; especially the ones in Pakistan, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
In fact, former West Indian fast bowler and commentator Ian Bishop expressed much the same views on hearing this news. “I see the news about Rahul Dravid appointed to NCA to mentor players & I am envious. If West Indies cricket can attach some of our great players as mentors to the likes of Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Hetmyer, Fabian Allen, Keemo Paul, Rutherford etc, I’m sure WI cricket will benefit,” Bishop wrote on his Twitter handle.
With West Indies struggling in Tests and ODIs for the past many years, it is baffling that their cricket board hasn’t been able to utilize the services of former legends like Brian Lara, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Vivian Richards and Courtney Walsh for training their youngsters. These are all accomplished cricketers on their own right and can make a huge difference in the attitude of the current West Indian setup which has often found to be reckless.
The same applies for countries like Pakistan who have former legends like Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Waqar Younis doing commentary assignment. They can instead be better used in imparting their precious knowledge to refine young minds.
Dravid’s affect has already been seen in Indian cricket, with the India U-19 team winning the 2018 U-19 World Cup and the India A team doing well on overseas tours.
Hopefully, the other cricket boards would see the value of employing the services of their former legends in training their cricketers and overseeing the overall development of the game.