Laxman to join NCA on December 13, will travel with U-19s for World Cup, Cooley's appointment ratified

Former Indian hitter VVS Laxman will join the National Cricket Academy (NCA) as the head of cricket on December 13, in what can only be described as a big move. His position, as well as those of other coaches, was confirmed at the Board of Control for Cricket in India General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday (December 4).

During the general body meeting in Kolkata, the hiring of former Australia and England bowling coach Troy Cooley as the pace bowling coach of the National Cricket Academy was also finalized. Previously, NCA was led by former Indian captain Rahul Dravid. The vital job, however, has remained empty since the renowned cricketer was named the national team’s head coach.

Regardless, Laxman appears to be ready to fill the shoes of his former comrade. “Laxman’s contract has already been signed. The second Test between New Zealand and India is his most recent media assignment. From December 13, he will be in Bengaluru. He will also be in the West Indies for a period of time for the U-19 ICC World Cup,” a top BCCI office-bearer familiar with the situation told India TV.

Hrishikesh Kanitkar or Sitanshu Kotak, who are now NCA coaches, would wear the head coach’s hat for the U-19 global event, according to a BCCI official. “All of the NCA coaching appointments have also been finalized and minuted,” he continued. Cricket South Africa has invited BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah to the ‘Annual Nelson Mandela Dinner,’ which will take place on January 2. Following the development of the Omicron variation, which has caused a spike in COVID-19 cases in African countries, it is unclear whether the couple will travel to the Rainbow Nation.

In terms of Team India’s upcoming international assignments, the national team will travel to South Africa. While three Tests, as many ODIs, and four T20Is were originally scheduled, the T20I leg has been postponed following a Saturday meeting between the BCCI and Cricket South Africa.