BCCI should make better use of pace academy: TA Sekar

Sekar feels BCCI should send pacers to the MRF Pace Foundation even when head coach Glenn McGrath isn’t available.

Fast bowling legend Glenn McGrath is head coach of the MRF Pace Foundation.

New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might be looking to enter into an arrangement with the MRF Pace Foundation so that young fast bowlers in the country can avail the facilities at the foundation.

But former bowling coach of the foundation and current Delhi Daredevils mentor T.A. Sekar feels that sending young bowlers to the academy only when current head coach Glenn McGrath is there wouldn’t help matters much.

With the BCCI looking to cut down on expenses incurred at the National Cricket Academy — earlier used as training ground for talented cricketers across the country, but now mostly used as a rehabilitation centre by injured cricketers — sending the budding pacers to the foundation seems to be the plan as the Board feels that the youngsters can benefit by working under McGrath.

But speaking to MAIL TODAY, Sekar — the man who handled matters at the foundation when Dennis Lillee was the head coach — feels that the facilities at the foundation are the best in the country and the BCCI should actually look to send budding pacers across the country to Chennai for a longer duration, rather than only when McGrath is present.

Australia's cricket legend Glenn McGrath (L) poses for photos during the launch of his wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Sydney. McGrath was the winner of the Madame Tussauds Sydney Aussie votes ... more 
Australia's cricket legend Glenn McGrath (L) poses for photos during the launch of his wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Sydney. McGrath was the winner of the Madame Tussauds Sydney Aussie votes campaign where the Australian public was asked to cast their votes on which Australian sporting hero they wanted to see immortalised in wax. less 
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Getty Images | Photo by Staff / AFP/Getty Images
Wed 31 Jul, 2013 2:30 PM IST

“I am not too happy with the idea of sending the youngsters to the foundation only when McGrath is there. I feel that the facilities there are the best in the country. Young pacers should be sent there for longer periods of time so that they can actually work on their bowling. To go there, interact with McGrath and then return wouldn’t help their cause much. They need to be guided properly and watched as pace bowling isn’t an easy art,” he said.

“It is sad that it took the BCCI 26 years to recognise the value of MRF Pace Foundation and the kind of services it has provided to the Indian cricketers over the years. Recently I spoke to Virender Sehwag as he has been training there and they played a match on the centre wicket and he managed to score a hundred in a T20 game.”

Another reason why Sekar feels that the BCCI should look at using the services at the foundation more extensively is the lack of facilities at the different state associations.

“I don’t think that the facilities available at the different state associations are up to the mark. So if the BCCI looks at using the foundation’s facilities extensively, it will only help the youngsters,” the 57-year-old said.

Sekar’s sentiments regarding state associations seem to be echoed by the BCCI as well. The BCCI had in 2010 decided to close down the Zonal Cricket Academies (ZCA) — after starting them in the 2000-2001 season — as they felt that each of the state associations had facilities which made the concept of zonal academies unwanted. The BCCI had started academies in all the five zones — East, West, North, South and Central.

Yet, now the BCCI — in its September 1 working committee meeting — decided to set up a Zonal Academy in each of the Five Zones and a dedicated academy for the North-Eastern States at Guwahati. If only, they had realised earlier that the NCA was being used more as a rehab centre than a centre for helping cricketers excel in their game.

Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.


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