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Sourav tables ambitious plans

- Ambrose & murali likely to be bengal’s bowling consultants
Curtly Ambrose,Muttiah Muralidharan

Calcutta: After months of discussions, Sourav Ganguly has finally chalked out a plan of action for Bengal cricket. As a first step, he has proposed the names of the coaching staff, which includes international stars, who will act as consultant to the players.

Sourav, who heads the coaching committee of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), met president Jagmohan Dalmiya on Tuesday and had an hour-long discussion.

Both Sourav and Dalmiya refused to comment, but it was learnt that Muttiah Muralidharan’s name has been proposed as spin consultant. Sourav himself will look after the batting department.

Two names were in contention for the pace consultant’s role — Waqar Younis and Curtly Ambrose. Sourav was in favour of roping in the former Pakistan captain for the Bengal boys, but visa-related issues could be a problem. Ambrose thus got the nod ahead of Waqar.

Brett Lee’s name had also come up for discussion.

Besides Murali, former India captain Anil Kumble was also in contention as spin consultant. But Kumble’s varied commitments came in the way as it was assumed that he wouldn’t be able to give time.

“This is part of Sourav’s special development programme. He was worried that the second batch of cricketers weren’t coming through. Not just from Bengal, but also from the country… Hence this endeavour…” said a senior CAB official.

Training was scheduled to begin in April, but keeping in mind the IPL which has to be staged between April 9-June 3, the CAB may organise a short camp in March.

The stalwarts will be in the city for short camps ranging from seven to 10 days after which the local coaches will see to it that their recommendations are implemented.

These camps will take place three or four times a year and will focus mainly on off-season training.

“It will be a continuous process… The modalities are still being worked out,” the senior CAB official added.

Sourav has been given the authority to personally interact with the former stars and accordingly advise the CAB.

Former Bengal captain Utpal Chatterjee’s name was in the reckoning to assist Murali, but it was shelved as he had communicated to the CAB brass that he wasn’t interested in the role.

Former Bengal pacer Ranadeb Bose’s name is doing the rounds as an assistant to Ambrose.

Sourav has already proposed the idea of having a pool of players to ensure that there is a steady supply line for the senior team.

Sourav has also suggested that a pool of 25 players each for the batsmen, pacers and spinners be formed.

The pool will comprise players of different age groups, from under-16 to under-25 levels. These players will practise throughout the year under the international stars.

Back in August, Sourav had come up with his ambitious plans for Bengal cricket.

The coaching committee has had several rounds of meetings to formulate the plans for the development and it was finally left to Sourav to make a presentation.

The supply line can only be ensured through continuous monitoring of the talented youngsters, Sourav said in his presentation to Dalmiya on Tuesday.