17-member support staff accompanies Indian team in West Indies
The Indian Cricket Team is currently touring the West Indies for a four-match test series. A tour normally involves additional and adequate support staff travelling with the team but the number of people involved in this series is not justified. India has sent a 17-member squad for the Test matches, and another 17 as support staff to keep up with the players’ needs.
The players and staff together amount to approximately a little more than one-fourth of the total Indian contingent travelling to the Rio Olympics. It must also be noted this is the largest Indian contingent to the Olympics ever. A surprising inclusion in the list is that of a yoga trainer who shares his name with famous Bollywood actor Manoj Kumar. Apart from catering to the needs of the players, the staff gets to visit some of the most picturesque beaches in the world, so they shouldn’t be complaining too much about the “trip.”
BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke was not very eager to comment on the matter. As per the reports of the Hindustan Times, an official said, “The sport is becoming very professional. You cannot leave anything for granted. Yoga is a new thing introduced for the team. With the sport developing at a rapid pace, the onus is on the backroom staff to prepare the players and keep them stress-free for every assignment. Indian team is a professional unit now.”
When another senior BCCI official was questioned he admitted that sending big a support staff has become a fashion nowadays and is a common sight with major International teams. “It has become a fashion these days to have a big support staff… all major international teams have it. Don’t be surprised to see more members in the backroom than the players in future. With the rising demands, there is a possibility of players wanting their individual support staff for tours in the future” he said.
Apart from the Yoga trainer, India has two masseurs, a trainer and an assistant trainer. Not to forget the chairman of his selectors Sandip Patil and his co-selector Vikram Rathour.
The support staff, as listed by the Hindustan Times, is as follows:
Anil Kumble (head coach), Abhay Sharma (fielding coach), Sanjay Bangar (batting coach), Arun Kanade (massage therapist), Manoj Kumar (yoga trainer), Rajiv Kimar (massage therapist), Patrik Farhat (Physio), Shankar Basu (trainer), Raghu Srinivasan (assistant trainer), Rishikesh Upadhyay (logistics manager), Nishant Arora (Media manager), Rtd Major Manvinder Bali (security manager), Asish Tuli (video analyst), Moulin Parikh (assistant media manager), Vikram Rathour (national selector), Sandip Patil (chief national selector), Riyaz Bagban (administrative manager)