The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a new programme to unearth new bowling talent from across India by conducting open trials in various parts of the country on Wednesday. Interestingly,this was an idea their Cricket Development committee (CDC) headed by former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar had already come up with a year ago.
The committee,however,had been scrapped within a year of its existence,and it is their forgotten idea that has suddenly emerged and been approved by the working committee.
In a lone meeting held before the 2011 World Cup,the committee comprising of Vengsarkar,Chetan Chauhan (North),Arshad Ayud (South),Pranob Roy (East) and Prashant Vaidya (Central) had suggested organising more India A games on a home-and-away basis. The committee had also asked for an increase in the number of U-19 series in countries in South Africa,England and Australia on a reciprocal basis so that young players can be groomed across the board. Vengsarkar & Co had also advised the board to look into a mass zonal selection drive,which would cover even the remote areas of India where open trials could be held for batsmen,bowlers and wicket-keepers to get in more raw talent from these generally ignored regions.
There is a lot of talent in India but we need to find it now by having such trials. We wanted to have mass selection trials where anybody can come in, says Vengsarkar.
The BCCI had written a letter to all the state associations prior to the World Cup,floating the cricket development committee’s idea.
But I was told that all the officials around the country were too busy with the World Cup,resulting in low enthusiasm regarding the idea overall, Vengsarkar added.
The open trials for pacemen and spinners will be conducted by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) faculty in Himachal Pradesh,Jammu & Kashmir,Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh over the next few weeks. Boys between the ages of 17 and 22 will be eligible to attend the trials but they should not have played in any of the BCCIrun tournaments previously.
It’s not going to be smooth sailing,insists Vengsarkar,for the board. Finding the right talent from so many budding youngsters will indeed be a great challenge. The selectors will have to be at their alert best to spot the best amongst the thousands who will turn up across the country,he adds. When I was a part of the TRDO (Talent Research Development Officer),we made sure to watch each player closely. Selecting a player is not an easy task and one can’t do the job just for the sake of doing it, says Vengsarkar.