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Waqar and Murali confirm availability as consultants

Waqar Younis; Muttiah Muralidharan

Calcutta: Muttiah Muralidharan and Waqar Younis have confirmed their availability as spin and pace bowling consultants to the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).

Both are expected to be in the city for a four-day camp, at the Jadavpur University Salt Lake Campus ground, from March 15.

Sourav Ganguly, of course, will be in charge of batting.

At a coaching committee meeting on Thursday, Sourav spelt out his plans. It was decided that the working committee would meet on Monday to formally give its seal of approval.

The former India captain will be a special invitee at the working committee meeting for a presentation.

Sourav had been given the authority to personally interact with the former stars. It was learnt that Curtly Ambrose’s name as pace consultant was shelved after the West Indies pacer informed of his unavailability till June.

“We can’t have the camp once the monsoon sets inů So we decided to go with Waqar,” said a senior CAB official.

The former Pakistan captain had been Sourav’s first choice. But anticipating visa-related problems, the CAB had decided to opt for Ambrose.

“We’ll write to the concerned ministries and hope there won’t be a problem,” said the official.

The consultants will have short duration camps, totalling 30 to 40 days, every year. Sourav has proposed that Murali and Waqar be given three-year contracts to start with.

The first camp will serve to be a trial of sorts where the stars will have to shortlist from a pool of around 250 bowlers.

The bowlers from the state senior and different age-group teams will automatically qualify for the trails.

Besides, every first division side has been asked to send one pacer and one spinner to the trials. For second division clubs, only under-19 pacers and spinners will be considered.

Outstation players will, however, not be allowed to participate.

Later, players from the districts will also be called for trials.

The CAB also hasn’t finalised the names of assistant coaches who will work with Waqar and Murali. Ranadeb Bose may be put in charge of the pacers, but former spinner Utpal Chatterjee has conveyed his unavailability.

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