Guwahati, July 20: The Assam Cricket Academy, run by the Assam Cricket Association (ACA), is going to engage the services of batting specialist coach Dinesh Nanavati and sports psychologist Kinjal Suratwala in grooming the junior cricketers of the state for the next season.
Disclosing this to The Telegraph, the academy’s chief coach, Subhrajit Saikia, said the ACA has already contacted both the specialists for off-season sessions with the under-16 and under-19 probables who are participating in coaching programmes in the academy.
“We have always faced the problem of lack of quality batsmen in our teams. The time for grooming batsmen is in the junior stages. Therefore, we have chalked out a scientific coaching scheme for the youngsters this time and engaging Nanavati is part of the programme,” Saikia said.
“Merely being a good batsman is not enough in these days of competitive cricket. The players will also have to be mentally very tough to tackle different situations. Therefore, their psychological development is also equally important. Thus, we are recruiting the services of Suratwala,” he added.
Both Nanavati and Suratwala, who had been with the National Cricket Academy for the last few years, are free from NCA assignments for some time and the academy management hopes it will help them to give some time to the Assam youngsters.
The academy has further trimmed the list of 25 under-16 youngsters who were picked up from a state-wide talent search programme two months ago, to 14 after a central camp here since June 22 and has placed them in the ongoing zonal coaching camps of the academy.
“A few of them are very talented. They can definitely be groomed as quality players for the future. We will bring them back for another phase of central coaching camp here during their next school holidays, probably during the Durga Puja holidays, to assess their progress. Let us hope at least five players can be groomed to be quality players from among these kids,” Saikia said.
In another development, the ACA has engaged BCCI level III coach Sanath Kumar, who had earlier coached the Assam Ranji team for two years, as a probable coach for the next Ranji season.
“We have engaged him now for the ongoing coaching camp and Assam’s participation in the Karnataka State Cricket Association invitation tournament later this month. We will also try a couple of more aspirants for the post in the Buchi Babu tournament and other exposure tours and will retain the one who delivers the best,” ACA secretary Bikash Baruah said.
A recent cricket development meeting of the ACA, involving former as well as current players, had recommended engaging an outstation coach of repute for the next Ranji season.