Indian team’s strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu is unlikely to travel with the team after the World Cup even though the BCCI has given an extension to all support staff for 45 days.
National Cricket Academy trainer and Basu’s protege Sohum Desai is likely to be the Indian team’s trainer for the West Indies tour, starting August 3.
“Basu is unlikely to accompany the team for the tour to the Caribbean. NCA trainer Sohum, who has already worked with India A team, will be strength and conditioning coach in the West Indies,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
The 50-year-old Basu, who owns a chain of fitness centres, wants to focus on his business as touring with Indian team means he’s on road for close to eight months, which includes home series.
However, the top Indian cricketers, including skipper Virat Kohli, would certainly want him to remain attached in some capacity, considering the tremendous progress made by the team on the fitness front.
After the tour of the West Indies, the BCCI will invite fresh applications for all the support staff positions where the incumbent could also apply.
It is still not clear whether Basu would like to re-apply or the BCCI will hire him on a consultant basis.
“Most of the players in this team follow individual training modules prepared by Basu. Since Sohum, who is associated with the NCA, follows the same schedule, it will be easier to help the players out,” a source said.
Money could be one of the factors which could come in the way of retaining Basu’s services.
As an owner of a chain of fitness centre, Basu earns more through his business than by being with the team and it may not be financially viable for the BCCI to match his income, engaging him for more than 200 days a year.
“He has expressed his wish to concentrate on his business but the players also want him. We need to check what can be worked out. It will be done after the World Cup,” the senior official said.
Physio Patrick Farhart’s tenure also ends with World Cup and he is expected to go to the Caribbean.
However, Indian team might have a new physio during the home series against Bangladesh and South Africa later this year.
It is expected that it will be a foreign physio as per players’ demand in case Farhart rules him out of contention for re-appointment.