The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has created a pool of 20 players for the ODI World Cup, to be played in India later this year. Over the next seven months, these players will be rotated across formats and their workload will be monitored.
In its review meeting on Sunday, which went on for about three-and-a-half hours, the BCCI office-bearers - president Roger Binny (who attended the meeting via video-conferencing), secretary Jay Shah - India head coach Rahul Dravid, NCA (National Cricket Academy) chief VVS Laxman and outgoing selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma, discussed at length the roadmap for the Indian men’s cricket team.
Even though 20 players have been shortlisted, if a player who is not part of the pool performs consistently in the domestic tournaments, the selectors can take a call on his inclusion. Before finalising on a player, the NCA needs to give a ‘green signal’ about his fitness and only after that will he be considered for national selection.
It was decided that keeping in mind the Men’s FTP (Future Tours Programme) and preparations for the 50-over World Cup, the NCA will work in tandem with the IPL franchises to monitor the targeted Indian players participating in the tournament this year.
The Board had drawn flak last year after Jasprit Bumrah and Deepak Chahar had to miss the T20 World Cup due to injuries. After taking charge as the president of the BCCI in October, Binny had expressed his concerns over the recurrent injuries of players and had stated that he will speak to the NCA staff. In the review meeting, it was decided that the Indian team will bring back the Yo-Yo test as a selection criteria, and during the IPL, the NCA will closely monitor each and every player who is part of the 20-member pool.
India’s home summer starts on January 3 with the T20I series against Sri Lanka. While there were speculations that there will be an overhaul of coaching staff following the debacle in the T20 World Cup, sources have indicated that as of now, any change in coaching staff is unlikely.
“The Board reviewed the performances in 2022 and also discussed the road ahead. There were no specific discussions on change in personnel,” a source said.
“It was a very constructive meeting where we reviewed the past performance and planned for the future events,” the source, who attended the meeting, said. Over the next few months, the priority will be the World Test Championship (WTC) fixtures and the team management will ensure that the workload of the players is managed well.
Among other decisions, emerging players will have to play a substantial domestic season to be eligible for selection to the national team.
In a bid to ensure that the young and emerging cricketers do not neglect the domestic tournaments, the Board has made it mandatory for them to feature in all the tournaments.
“The team management and the Board believes that it is important to follow a step-by-step progression for the youngsters and that’s why the focus is to make sure that they play a maximum number of domestic tournaments,” a source said.
Yo-Yo test is back
In a significant development, the BCCI decided to re-introduce the Yo-Yo test, which was once made mandatory by the then head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli. However, over the last couple of years, the much-debated Yo-Yo test was done away with. With growing concerns over players’ fitness, the new regime at the Indian cricket board has decided that there will be no compromise on the fitness aspect with Yo-Yo test being the main criteria.
The Dexa scan is an imaging test that measures bone density and strength, and the scan results can provide helpful details about the risk for osteoporosis and fractures, and keeping in mind the fact that several of senior cricketers are getting injured frequently, it has been decided that going forward, the “Yo-Yo test and Dexa will now be part of selection criteria and implemented in the customized roadmaps of the central pool of players”.