BCCI berth for former skipper

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By JAYESH THAKER
  • Published 11.11.10
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Jamshedpur, Nov. 10: A place in Jharkhand State Cricket Association’s (JSCA) good books eluding him, Jamshedpur cricketer and former Bihar Ranji captain K.V.P. Rao has bowled his way to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stable.

The former left-arm spinner, who has honed aspiring cricketers for years, has been appointed BCCI’s game development manager. Rao replaced Stanley Saldanha, a former Maharashtra player who completed a three-year stint in the BCCI. He has already assumed charge at the board headquarters in Mumbai.

As the game development manager, 48-year-old Rao will oversee the development of cricket across the country, including Northeast. The job also entails looking after umpiring network and other administrative details.

“Rao is a capable man who has the ability to efficiently handle the job,” one of his Ranji colleagues said.

Strangely, Rao, who led Bihar from 1996 to 1998, has long been ignored by his home state. The JSCA has never shown any interest in availing his services despite boasting credential of a National Cricket Academy (NCA)-accredited Level III coach. He is one of the only two NCA Level-III coaches in Jharkhand, V. Venkat Ram, also a former Bihar Ranji skipper, being the other.

Prior to his appointment as a BCCI manager, Rao, who heads the Agrico Civic Cricket Academy, had been busy training young cricketers at Bangalore-based NCA. He also served the Jammu and Kashmir senior team as a coach and had been flooded with offers from different states, including Tripura.

“It is not that Rao or Venkat can do miracle with the senior outfit. But they can at least add new work ethics in the team,” a former player said.

Rao could not be reached for comments but Venkat, also not a JSCA favourite, said: “I am very happy about Rao’s appointment as the game development manager of BCCI”.

Rao played 51 Ranji matches and scalped 205 wickets. He had also turned out for the East Zone in Duleep Trophy. The former spinner was the highest Ranji wicket-taker (36 in five matches) in the 1994-95 season. He worked with Tata Steel’s sports department till 1997 before opting for Early Separation Scheme.