The National Cricket Academy has overhauled its teaching handbook under Rahul Dravid’s leadership, which now includes “corporate workshops” for aspiring coaches dealing with off-field challenges such as selection pressure from various sectors. A group of illustrious former first-class cricketers recently attended the BCCI’s Level-2 coaching course and took the academic and practical exams.

While the coaching curriculum has been changed to make it more acceptable to current coaches, the addition of a “corporate issue solving session,” in which incumbents were required to discover ways to troubleshoot while dealing with many off-the-field stakeholders, was a welcome surprise.

“The training was created by Kshemal (Waingankar), a former Mumbai seamer with an MBA and a corporate background. “I’d never been to a lesson like this before, but it was quite unusual and helped me extend my horizons,” a prominent first-class cricketer was reported as saying by news agency PTI. The cricketer went on to say that the course’s main goal was to teach students how to distinguish between bargaining and negotiation. Throughout the training, it was emphasised that, in a crisis scenario, it was more important to look at various techniques of troubleshooting and looking for answers than it was to solve the problems.

The fact that NCA chief Dravid does not attend lessons but always makes it a point to sit with the batches and hear lectures given by people like Sujith Somasundar, Apurv Desai, Rajib Datta, and Waingankar has astounded many players. Robin Bist, Zakaria Zufri, Prabhanjan Mullick, Uday Kaul, Sagar Jogiyani, Sarabjeet Singh, Arindam Das, Saurashis Lahiri, Ranadeb Bose, KB Pawan, and Connor Williams are among the well-known past and present players who attended the course.