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India to train at Gary’s academy

Calcutta: Coach Gary Kirsten’s academy in Claremont, near Newlands in Cape Town, will be utilised by the 14 India cricketers leaving early for the three-Test series in South Africa.

“That, indeed, is where the players are going to acclimatise themselves in the lead-up to the first Test (Centurion, from December 16),” a well-placed source told The Telegraph.

Cape Town, incidentally, hosts the final Test, after the face-off in Durban.

The academy, therefore, isn’t the only reason why Kirsten has chosen Cape Town as the camping-point.

Speaking on Friday, the source added: “While five cricketers will leave on December 6, nine others are going to travel two days later. All 14 will be based in Cape Town. The last lot (three players) is going to Johannesburg on December 12.”

While the series-opener is in Centurion, the team will stay in Johannesburg, which is around an hour away by road.

Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay are going to be the only cricketers who won’t have enough time to acclimatise. That’s because of the ODI series against New Zealand, which ends on December 10.

Meanwhile, Orissa Cricket Association president Ranjib Biswal has been retained as the manager.

Indications are that Biswal, a former U-19 captain and national selector, will keep the job during the 2011 World Cup, too.

DEPARTURE SCHEDULE

On Dec.6: Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav; Gary Kirsten.

On Dec.8: Sachin Tendulkar, V.V.S. Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Wriddhiman Saha, Suresh Raina; Ranjib Biswal.

On Dec.12: Zaheer Khan, Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay; Eric Simons and the remaining members of the support staff.

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