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BCCI Plans Action on “Life Skills” Proposal First Mooted by Kumble in 2009

Devadyuti Das |January 31, 2019, 6:03 PM IST
BCCI Plans Action on “Life Skills” Proposal First Mooted by Kumble in 2009

The BCCI, according to a report in the Times of India on Thursday, is seriously considering a program that will enable a more holistic development of young cricketers so they can deal with the anxiety that comes with life after retirement. As per the report, India A and Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid mooted the idea at a recent meeting with board officials, where he emphasised the need to enhance life skills of young cricketers outside of the sport.

However, this isn’t the first time that such a proposal has been presented in front of the board. As far back as 2009, just a year after his international retirement, former India captain Anil Kumble had made a detailed presentation to the BCCI along the same lines. The Board though failed to take any step at the time to get the proposal implemented.

“Yes, Kumble did make a detailed presentation to the BCCI back in 2009,” Prof. Ratnakar Shetty, who was BCCI’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in 2009, confirmed to CricketNext. “After that he took over as the NCA chairman and had some great ideas for the development of the sport.”

In his presentation, titled ‘Life Skills Programs for Cricket Professionals’, Kumble proposed to ‘provide specially designed higher education with life skills programs (for all the cricketers under the BCCI net who have cleared 10+2)’. The program would provide option of a higher education degree or vocational training and certification and other technical training workshops.

Kumble asked for the following support from the BCCI:

* BCCI to mandate and fund all the cricketers associated with BCCI (state and national, including IPL) enroll and take the benefit out of it.

* BCCI to make this a pre-requisite for national and state level contract to obtain the real benefit of this programme.

* BCCI to provide the infrastructure support for the program delivery to the students with ideal location of facilities attached to the stadium.

“Kumble believed that hundreds of boys come to the NCA for training but what happens to them after that nobody knows,” explained Shetty. “He had plans of online detailing of these boys, as to what are they doing in domestic cricket and it was a detailed presentation. But unfortunately, the Board couldn’t take the idea forward.”

According to the TOI report, ten years after Kumble’s proposal with Dravid’s initiative along similar lines, action may finally be forthcoming. National Cricket Academy (NCA) COO Tufan Ghosh and board officials are working on a structure to give this idea shape.

Officials are seeking out placement agencies and other firms to help in training young cricketers and offering them alternate career options if they struggle to continue with the game.

"Dravid and the other coaches here had pointed out the need to start such a process,” Ghosh was quoted as saying by the paper. “We are working towards formulating a structure before it is sent to the higher authorities in BCCI to get things going.”

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