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Sourav, Rahul meet to discuss NCA roadmap

Sourav, Rahul meet to discuss NCA roadmap

New Delhi: BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday met NCA head Rahul Dravid to chalk out a roadmap for the improvement of the academy, Indian cricket's biggest feeder line for many years.

The long-time former India teammates discussed their plans for the academy with Ganguly also giving his inputs.

The former India skipper, who took over the BCCI's reins last week, also visited the proposed land where the new NCA facility is supposed to come up.

BCCI had signed a 25-acre deal with the Karnataka government in May and now it has got an additional 15 acres of land from the government for setting up the Centre of Excellence near the Bengaluru international airport.

The NCA, which was supposed to be the supply line of Indian cricket, has actually become a rehabilitation centre, which even Ganguly acknowledged after taking over.

It is currently situated adjacent to the Chinnaswamy Stadium and the BCCI has been trying for alternate location to set up the NCA with state-of-the-art facilities.

The land allocated for the construction of the new facility is near the Kempegowda International Airport in Devanahalli and is likely to accommodate three grounds, apart from indoor nets, administrative buildings, and the hostels.

Many former players including VVS Laxman and India head coach Ravi Shastri are expecting a quick revival of the NCA and have high expectations from the celebrated duo of Ganguly and Dravid.

The BCCI is looking forward to converting the National Cricket Academy (NCA) into a Centre of Excellence — a state-of-the-art facility, designated to be a finishing school for leading young talents. It is learnt that the item was on the agenda, when Ganguly met the NCA director and the Academy's chief operating officer (COO) Tufan Ghosh in Bangalore.

The NCA was established in 2000 to nurture top young talents, with the potential to represent India in the future. Of late, though, it has become basically a rehab centre for the injured national team and India A team cricketers.

Now that Ganguly has taken charge of the BCCI, former greats like VVS Laxman are expecting an overhaul. During Ganguly's felicitation at Eden Gardens last week, Laxman had urged that the NCA be transformed into a Centre of Excellence.

"If I have to make one wish to Sourav, it's just about how he can support, how he can revive the NCA. The greatness of the Indian team is its bench strength. I saw the South African team and it was the most depleted South African team I have seen. It's because their domestic structure is not strong. Through the NCA, you can produce future champions," Laxman had said.

With a 40-acre plot that the BCCI acquired for the NCA lying idle near the Bangalore airport, the cricket board has the space to build a state-of-the-art cricket centre.

Former NCA chairman Niranjan Shah agreed that it is the need of the hour, while blaming the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that helmed the BCCI for close to three years, for the NCA's decline.

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