Jaipur : With former Indian coach Greg Chappell as its advisor, the spanking new Future Cricket Academy (FCA) for nurturing global cricketing talent opened its doors at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here Monday.
Set up by the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) in association with the Future Group, “the state-of-the-art global centre of excellence is one of the most modern and well equipped academies in the world dedicated to improving the standards of cricketing talent across the globe and in India”, an RCA release said.
Chappell and RCA president Lalit Modi jointly inaugurated the academy.
Ian Frazer, India’s former bio-mechanist, will be the director in charge of the academy, which will have five indoor pitches, a full video analysis system and 24 outdoor practice wickets. It will accommodate 70 students and will have a state-of-the-art gymnasium provided by Cybex, the US-based fitness equipment manufacturer, with recreational and eating facilities and an electronic data library.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Chappell said he was delighted to be back in India and looked forward to working closely with all the coaches and players at the academy.
“I am proud to be involved with the Future Cricket Academy which truly is one of the best cricketing facilities in the world. I look forward to working closely with the academy in identifying and nurturing fresh cricketing talent the world over.
“As we have seen with the winning Twenty20 team from India, talented cricketers are now breaking through the unknown cricketing centres like Bihar, Kerala and Jharkhand. I am certain we will soon be able to add Rajasthan to that illustrious list of sporting cities,” Chappell added.
Modi said: “Given the best-in-class global facilities available to cricketers at the Future Cricket Academy and with Greg and Ian at the helm, nurturing global cricketing talent will be the focus.
“I am certain, that the cricket loving fans the world over will soon start seeing the direct benefits of the academy in terms of the cricketing talent that will be groomed in its hallowed halls at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium,” he added.
According to Modi, “the programme designed by Greg and Ian is quite different and we hope that the methods we employ will change the way we train our future cricketers.”
Holding that Chappell and Frazer would provide that extra edge to the academy’s operations, Modi added: “As part of our vision, it was this piece that was missing.”
Fraser said: “The chance to be associated with the vision of Lalit Modi and the RCA by adding substance to the wonderful facility that has been built in Jaipur is exciting.”
Chappell and Frazer have co-authored “The Making of Champions”, a book based on extensive research into talent identification and training methods.
“We look forward to introducing some of those methods to cricket in India with our work for the academy,” Chappell said.
Chappell added that he and Frazer would introduce new techniques and methods because “first class and international cricket is becoming demanding for players.
“Training methods of the past will not be suitable for the player of the future who will need to be fitter, stronger and more resilient, more flexible. Training programmes of and for the future will have to reflect that,” he added.
According to Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani, the academy “will play a significant role in unearthing new talent and shaping the future of Indian cricket. It has for long been our endeavour to promote sports at the grass roots levels in India and this association with the RCA is a step in that direction”.
The Future Group is one of India’s leading business groups with presence in retail, consumer finance, capital, insurance, retail real estate development, media and logistics. Pantaloons, Central, Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar and Home Town are among the flagship retail chains that the company operates in 45 cities across the country.