‘Bumrah was never denied test’

A day after it was reported that the National Cricket Academy had refused to conduct a fitness test for Jasprit Bumrah, DH has reliably learnt that the India pacer was never denied the permission to hold the same at the academy’s facilities.

It was claimed that Rahul Dravid, the NCA Director, was not happy with the pacer for opting to train with his preferred trainer and physio as he didn’t trust the expertise of the staff at the academy. So when Bumrah went for a fitness test, Dravid reportedly refused to oblige. 

“At no stage we refused to conduct fitness test for Bumrah at NCA,” a source, close to the NCA affairs, emphasised. “We only said that ‘look if you have been treated by somebody else for the last four months, someone else knows your case. How can we conduct a test and pass you fit?’ Suppose if you go to a doctor and he has treated you for four months for cancer, will you go to another doctor and ask him to declare you fit? You can’t do that, right?

Bumrah was offered to use the NCA facilities and was told to get whoever he wanted and do the test here.

“Last minute you land up and ask people here to conduct fitness test means...how can we? None of us knows his case. He hasn’t trained with us even for one day, we have not treated him for four months. How can we be asked to conduct the test?”

Help to Bumrah

The source added that Dravid, in fact, had written a letter stating full co-operation and help to Bumrah. “You do whatever you want, but please don’t recruit the NCA staff to give the test and pass you. Because what happens is if something goes wrong, again the NCA will be blamed. No professional will agree to do this.”

Bumrah was told by Dravid that he could get the Indian team’s physio and promised that no NCA physio will touch him. “They are such big stars, we will bend over backwards for them.”

A few international players - Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar - have refused to go to NCA fearing lack of requisite expertise there. This could also one of the reasons why Dravid couldn’t accede to Bumrah’s request for a test by NCA staff as they have been upset for being portrayed as inefficient. If they had been directed to hold a test, it might have left them demoralised.   

It has also come to light that the physiotherapy department at the NCA was “forced” to declare Hardik Pandya fit before he joined the Indian team in Australia prior to the Boxing Day Test last December. Pandya had sustained a stress fracture during the Asia Cup in September last and had to be stretchered off. Once he was declared fit, he played just six limited-over games on the tour of New Zealand in January before going down with the same injury.  

“He was also being treated by somebody else and later on when he got injured again for the same problem, the blame came on NCA,” the source said while pointing out that Dravid wasn’t in-charge of the academy then.

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