High Performance Programme Recommendations A High Performance Programme is a modern-day must for any cricket playing nation

. Most of the international teams who are playing the game have this programme in place. This is a complementary step in the process of establishing a good cricketing system. The High Performance Programme must involve a series of steps and a five-year plan so as to see where our cricket can be five years from now. This involves a very methodical study of the current state of cricket in India and taking some drastic steps to improve the same. • “A” Team Culture – The first of the major recommendations is to establish a regular and professional ‘A’ Team culture. The tours of the A-team must not be restricted to Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, but expand to other nations like a full county tour of England, Ireland and Scotland – more in the lines of the Indian tour to England, Australia-New Zealand and South Africa. The Zimbabwe leg can be added to the South African tour. The ‘A’ Teams of the sub-continents can play out a quadrangular tournament on an annual basis, based on the ICC FTP. The ‘A’ Team culture does not only give the fringe player an opportunity to perform and get noticed, but also helps the selector with ready names in case of injury/illness replacements, as observed in the current Ireland tour. The ‘A’ Team must have a full-time coach contracted for the same period as the national coach, an assistant and a professional physiotherapist. It would also be recommended that a full-time manager be appointed to oversee the operations of the ‘A’ Team. If possible, the ‘A’ team must also have a full-time fielding coach. Another suggestion regarding the ‘A’ Team is that it must tour as a precursor to important tour, if the ICC FTP permits. For example, if India tours New Zealand, an ‘A’ team composed of fringe players and experienced players, like say a VVS Laxman or an Irfan Pathan must be sent to New Zealand, as they get firsthand experience of the conditions and might just prove useful before the national team tours that country. • Fast Bowling/Spin Programme – This is another very important stage in the High Performance Programme. We need to appoint a full-time Fast Bowling Coach of good levels in coaching and base him at the NCA, Bangalore. This will ensure that our fast bowlers will get all the guidance and expertise to improve on their performance levels. Similarly, we need to address the problem of spin-bowling in the country too. There is a dearth of quality spin-bowling talent coming through the Indian

domestic setup. For this, the Board could hire a spin-bowling consultant, with past names like Erapalli Prasanna, Bishen Singh Bedi etc, so that they could pass their invaluable experience and knowledge to the budding spinners etc. They could be contracted for the time the coach is appointed. Very important as far as the development of talent in the country is concerned. • Coaches Programme – The coaches’ programme is all about development of coaches in the country. The Board must identify potential candidates through their contributions and developments made by their respective teams in Domestic Cricket and send them to other countries to share/expand their knowledge base or expertise. We need to conduct Coaches’ Seminars and send our coaches as delegates to any such seminars/conferences held worldwide, especially in countries like Australia or South Africa as they would benefit by updating themselves by knowing about the modern game. Academy and Developmental Squads (Under-23) – One of the areas where other teams are picking up is the emphasis they are laying on the academy structure in their respective countries. We need to improve the whole administration of the academy and make into a nursery of talent, than a nursery of rust. We have a very strong Under-19 setup, but we must make use of the Academy and Developmental Squads to help them graduate to the next level. The Academy and Developmental Squads must be used as a level before the ‘A’ Team setup. There must be a constant exchange of such teams to places like England, South Africa and Australia so that they get mentally prepared to play in those conditions, if they make it to the national team. These teams can play the tour-openers as Board President’s XI, which gives them another chance to play against a stronger opposition, i.e. the visiting international level. These squads must also have a full-time coach, contracted till the national coach is, an assistant, a physiotherapist and a manager. Five-Year Plan – The Board must have a five-year plan and keep on reviewing it to ensure a constant improvement in the High Performance Programme. Alternatively, we can implement this from one World Cup to the other. And this should be an effective guide as to know how the game in the country will be till the next World Cup.

Under the High Performance Programme, we will have four-levels – Indian National Team, India A, India Academy/Indian Developmental Squad and the India Under-19s. This will ensure

that the talent within the country is not stagnating and is constantly evolving and made ready. The High Performance Programme also involves appointing a HIGH PERFORMANCE MANAGER, who would oversee if each of this is implemented and review it on an annual basis. The post of the High Performance Manager is not political in nature; it is a cricket oriented post. The High Performance Manager would be a former cricketer with valuable international experience, who would be appointed with consultation from the coach of the team, since most of the times, they will be functioning together. In case of major tournaments like the Champions Trophy, Twenty-20 World Cup, World Cup etc, it will be advisable that the High Performance Manager (HPM) accompany the team to these tournaments. If these recommendations are taken seriously, it would be recommended if the first HPM is a foreigner, an Australian. This would help the Indians working under him gaining an invaluable experience. Establishing a High Performance Programme is perhaps the need of the hour as far as Indian cricket is concerned. It helps establish a system through which our cricketers can be exposed to various levels of the game and also help them constantly work and develop their own abilities and enhance the cricketing knowledge and expertise within India. Venkat Ananth venkz86@gmail.com venkatananth@aol.in 9820967765

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful