VVS Laxman accepts BCCI's offer to become NCA chief

VVS Laxman has accepted the BCCI’s offer to lead the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru as director of cricket beginning in mid-December. Laxman accepted the NCA role over the weekend, according to ESPNcricinfo. He’s also notified Sunrisers Hyderabad of his decision to step down as mentor, a position he’s held since 2013. While the BCCI has yet to reveal the details of Laxman’s appointment and tenure, this will be the first time he holds a role in Indian cricket, and it will be a powerful one.

In terms of coaching expertise, Laxman, 47, worked as a batting consultant for the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for six years, when he was recruited for the ‘Vision 2020’ programme, which intended to identify and promote Bengal’s grassroot potential. Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, who was the CAB’s joint secretary in 2014, helped facilitate this function. Ganguly has been at the forefront of Laxman’s NCA appointment once again, this time as BCCI president. Laxman has risen to the top of the NCA leadership race, which was vacated by Rahul Dravid, his former Indian captain and teammate, who just took over as India’s men’s team head coach till the 2023 World Cup.

Laxman’s primary responsibility as an NCA director will be to develop roadmaps and pathways for men’s and women’s teams in both senior and junior age groups. Laxman will also be given the authority to select and manage India’s A and Under-19 teams in collaboration with the selectors, including the appointment of coaching staff. Fortunately for Laxman, he inherited a well-developed framework established by Dravid, who instituted education and skill-based programmes not only for the players, but also for former players seeking to become coaches.

Laxman will be backed up by a team of instructors who will help him with batting, bowling, and fielding, but the BCCI has yet to name them despite conducting interviews for several roles recently. Meanwhile, the BCCI has named Sitanshu Kotak, a former Saurashtra captain, as the head-cum-batting coach for India A for their tour of South Africa, which will serve as a warm-up for the senior Indian team’s tour in December and January.