Many layers to NCA-Bumrah fitness episode

It has come to light that the NCA director Rahul Dravid had no qualms about a test being conducted for Jasprit Bumrah but there were other issues.

A source close to the National Cricket Academy said that at no stage was Indian speedster Jasprit Bumrah refused rehab at the academy.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

Over the last week, speculation has swirled around the Bengaluru-based National Cricket Academy (NCA) and its alleged refusal to conduct a fitness test for Jasprit Bumrah. However, it has come to light that the NCA director Rahul Dravid had no qualms about a test being conducted for the speedster but there were other issues.

A source clued into the academy’s process, emphatically said: “At no stage, we refused Bumrah at NCA. We only said that 'look if you have been treated by somebody else for the last four months, someone else knows your case and how can we conduct a test and pass you fit?' In fact, Bumrah was offered to use the NCA facilities.

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"He was told to get whoever he wanted and do the test here. Last minute, you land up and ask us to conduct fitness test (but) how can we? Nobody knows his case. NCA trainers have not trained with him even one day, they have not treated him for four months. How can they be asked to conduct the test?"

Proper method

According to the source, a proper method had to be followed as it was observed that often the NCA becomes a scapegoat when a player declared fit, suffers an injury and then fingers are pointed towards the academy.

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“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,” the source said besides reiterating that Dravid even permitted Bumrah to get the Indian team’s physio to test him at the NCA.

The Hardik case

Along with Bumrah, Hardik Pandya is also on a comeback trail from an injury-enforced break and it is understood that even the latter was declared fit following pressure on the NCA’s physiotherapy department, prior to the third Test at Melbourne during India’s tour of Australia last year. “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 and added that Dravid wasn’t at the helm, during that December.

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