Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed South African Gregory Allen King as the new physical trainer of the national team Friday.
The post had been vacant since the resignation of Adrian le Roux, who took up a South African assignment recently.
The 30 year-old King — a fitness trainer and sports scientist with the Border Cricket Board of South Africa since 1998 and a rehabilitation specialist — was chosen after the Board scanned a number of applications.
“We were flooded with applications (for the post), which were referred to the panel consisting Team India coach John Wright, captain Sourav Ganguly, physio Andrew Leipus as well as Le Roux himself.
“Eight, including three from Australia and one from India, were shortlisted before the panel gave its verdict in King’s favour,” BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya told reporters Friday.
King’s appointment was okayed following the trainer’s meeting with Wright, Sourav and Dalmiya at a city hotel Friday morning. He will take up his new assignment on August 1.
King left with Wright for Chennai to attend the coaches’ seminar. He will later join Leipus in Bangalore at the seminar for fitness trainers and physiotherapists, conducted by the National Cricket Academy.
“We thought it necessary to maintain a continuity with the methods and techniques practised by Le Roux, so that it would be easy for the Indian players in terms of adaptation and application.
“In fact, Le Roux also spoke highly of King,” Dalmiya pointed out.
The BCCI is likely to finalise King’s contract at next month’s working committee meeting and Dalmiya hinted it could be till the 2004Champions Trophy. The fitness camp of the Indian squad for the New Zealand series is likely to start in Bangalore on August 14.
Meets involving Pakistan
Meanwhile, the BCCI announced a host of tournaments involving Pakistan — which were decided at the recently-held Asian Cricket Council meeting — in the next few months.
Dalmiya clarified that the Colombo tri-series in August will feature the three national academies of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — and not the A teams, as wrongly reported by the agencies from Colombo Thursday. In fact, that an academy-level tournament is on the cards, was reported by The Telegraph on June 5.
Following the Colombo meet, Pakistan will host an under-19 quadrangular in September, with Bangladesh being the fourth team. India will then host an A level tri-series, featuring Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in November-December.
“We have got the Union government’s clearance to play these tournaments. But nothing has been finalised on the resumption of bilateral ties at the senior level between India and Pakistan,” Dalmiya said.
Dual captaincy issue
The president described the dual captaincy controversy of the India A squad, currently touring England, a “result of communication gap and the lack of coordination among the five selectors”.
Shiv Sundar Das was originally chosen captain for the entire tour. But later, the Orissa opener was named skipper of the longer-version games while Hemang Badani was made captain for the one-dayers. “It was decided before the A squad left for England that everybody would be tried out on the tour. Those suitable for one-dayers were unlikely to play the longer games and vice-versa,” Dalmiya said.
“However, if a situation arose where both Das and Badani have to be included in the one-day XI, the former will be the leader, since he was named overall captain of the side,” he clarified.