On Monday, the Cricket Association of Bengal announced that they have appointed legendary Pakistani fast bowler Waqar Younis along with retired Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan as bowling consultants on a three-year contract for a coaching programme, which begins on the 15th of March.
The programme is the initiative of former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, and the contracts of the duo are believed to be in the range of Rs 60 lakh each. Under the contract, the two bowling maestros will spend at least 30 days with a pool of youngsters from Bengal, with the motive of producing world class bowlers for the Indian national team.
“It’ll be a simple cricket coaching with Waqar and Murali and no rocket science,” Ganguly said.
200 players, who will be hand-picked by the affiliated clubs and trainees from CAB, are set to be coached by the legendary duo in the first phase. These may include senior Bengal players subject to their availability.
“They will be picked from a screening camp. The first phase from March 15 will consist of 200 players,” Ganguly, who is also the coaching committee chairman of the CAB, added.
All the 94 clubs are required to nominate one pacer and spinner, who will be coached by Waqar and Muralitharan. These contribute to a total of 188 players, while the remaining 12 players will be from second division clubs comprising of Under-19 players.
“It’s difficult but you have to give fair chance to everybody. It will be for 30-40 days under Waqar and Murali but local coaches will take the camp throughout the year,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Ranji Trophy teams have previously appointed coaches from foreign countries – Intikhab Alam for Punjab and Michael Bevan for Odisha – but it is probably the first time that a mere state development programme has seen appointments of such stature.
While Ranadeb Bose will be assisting Waqar Younis in the pace department, the assistant to Muralitharan in the spin department is yet to be announced.
“Everything has been passed. There’s a confusion about who will be (assistant) spin coach, let’s see,” Ganguly added.
Ganguly, who will be the chief consultant of the batting pool, said, “Batting clinic will be held separately, first let this take place. I will be there, so we can do it at an appropriate time.”Published 10 Mar 2014, 22:43 IST