Alur dream set to soar

Alur dream set to soar

Cricket: KSCA Academy to move to 33-acre plot within a year

Getting ready: One of the three grounds at the Alur facility on the outskirts of Bangalore.With the former Indian captain coming in as president and former Indian paceman Javagal Srinath being elected the secretary, it was widely believed that the game of cricket would be the principal beneficiary. That belief hasn’t been without basis.

No sooner did they take over than the new team was entrusted with the responsibility of a one-day international, followed by seven games (including two warm-up ties) during the World Cup. That was followed by the IPL, and then the Champions League. The high-profile events, however, haven’t prevented the new team from keeping up its commitment to make cricket the top priority.

Unnoticed work

Much of the work put in has gone unnoticed, but with the UB group stepping in to co-sponsor the KSCA Academy and Dell associating itself with the association for an initial period of one year, the pieces are gradually falling into place. The Royal Challengers KSCA Academy will move completely to Alur from the Chinnaswamy stadium in less than one year’s time, but cricketing activities should begin there by the middle of January 2012, Srinath said.

“Alur with its three grounds will be the heart of KSCA's activities in the near future, but the Chinnaswamy Stadium will be used for international matches,” Srinath revealed. The 33-acre Alur property was procured by the KSCA over a decade back.

“The Alur land was in a wild state as nothing was done. The moment we took over, we decided to invest time and energy in this, and a big thanks to Venkatesh Prasad, Vijay Bharwadwaj and company for the way they convinced the local people to co-operate. Alur will be the backbone of cricket in Karnataka.”

The Academy, Srinath emphasised, would be functional throughout the year. “Right now, we presume that if players train ahead of a tournament, then the academy is functioning. It doesn't work like that. We also want to delink representative cricket from the academy. Parents shouldn't think just because their child is in the academy it would mean a direct entry into various age-group squads.

“We will invest in talent, irrespective of the results,” Srinath added. “We will provide all support for those crucial three to four years say from 16 to 19 or so, when players evolve and change. I started out as a batsman before I realised that I could bowl fast and I fully understand how cricketers change.”

Apart from Alur which will be the headquarters of the KSCA Academy, work on satellite academies in Mysore, Hubli and Mangalore is already under way, while the KSCA is working on enhancing cricketing facilities across the State with the onus on having as many turf pitches as possible. “We have improved facilities in Mysore (JSS and Gangotri), Mandya (PES), Mangalore, Shimoga, Hubli, Belgaum and Raichur,” said Srinath.

“Every player, be it at the junior level or club level, needs to have access to good turf facilities. Yes, only 11 will play in the Ranji Trophy but by giving quality infrastructure, we will only improve the cricketing base from which talent will emerge.”

At the academy, instant feedback through cognitive video-based technology will be available. “What I envisage is that when the bowler has finished his delivery and is walking back, his coach can show the visual instantaneously on an ipad and the learning becomes faster and inclusive.”

In a bid to promote transparency and to reduce reliance on copious files, the KSCA will also introduce Enterprise Resource Planning, an online initiative, which will go live on November 10. “Through this module, we intend to have all relevant data on the computer. For instance, if we are looking at a particular contractor, his previous work schedule, the rates he charged will all be available in the database. This will help not just us but also future panels that succeed us."

KSCA’s area of focus

* Work apace on the Royal Challengers KSCA Academy in Alur, which will facilitate cognitive vide-based technology

* Development of cricketing infrastructure across the State which includes approximately 50 turf pitches for matches to be ready by Jan 2012, and nearly 60 turf pitches for practice to be ready by June 2012

* 16 grounds across the State, controlled by KSCA, to be developed and maintained for matches and practice

* ERP module to facilitate more transparent and faster functioning of the Karnataka State Cricket Association