In need of Talent scout committee and academies

HCA had the three-member Cricket Talent Committee (CTC) in its place and implemented in all seriousness there could not have been complaints of biased or nepotism in the selection

Hyderabad: The other day former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin, now the president of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), moaned that players hit big hundreds or take heaps of wickets in local leagues but in reality a few of them don’t have the talent to represent the State team. “When I meet these boys at the camp, I’m surprised they don’t even connect the ball properly,’’ he said.

Obviously, the next point is, has the league standards have fallen and Azharuddin gave an affirmative nod. However, one cannot dismiss these performances, how good or bad it is, till it is seen in matches. If only the present body had the three-member Cricket Talent Committee (CTC) in its place and implemented in all seriousness there could not have been complaints of biased or nepotism in the selection.

The CTC members could have seen the players in action and accordingly could have recommended their names for selections. But HCA neither has a five-member selection panel or CTC since September 2019. The HCA has virtually ignored most of the Lodha Committee reforms.

A few of the associations have the talent committee that scouts talent in all categories in both men and women. The HCA has a wonderful opportunity when they can appoint along with Ombudsman, CEO, Cricket Advisory Committee and Talent committee in the March 28 Annual General Meeting. It would be a step in right direction to revive cricket in the city.

Role of Talent Committee

As per the constitution, CTC shall consist of three persons to be appointed by the HCA at the AGM, on terms and conditions by the Apex Council. Only former player, who have played at least 20 first class games and have the highest level of coaching certification shall be eligible to be appointed to this committee. The committee shall be responsible for scouting talent.

However, the closure of Hyderabad Cricket Academy of Excellence in Gymkhana is one of the saddest decisions of the association. Unfortunately, the association has not taken the issue of revival or reopening of the academy. Former Test leg spinner MV Narasimha Rao was the last to head the academy before all the activities came to a standstill four years ago. The academy does play a role in scouting and nurturing a talent. It does serve a purpose of monitoring the players’ talent and fitness. For some strange reasons, the association has shown no interest in reviving the academy.

Hopefully, the club secretaries will raise the issue of CTC and the Cricket Academy in the March 28 AGM. In another development, the BCCI has decided to cancel the under-19 tournament. The Board said they had to take this decision because of Covid-19 and the examinations that students appear during these two months. The HCA secretary R Vijayanand even conducted camps without the presence of any selectors.

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