VVS Laxman begins a new chapter, takes over as NCA head

Laxman has big shoes to fill as Rahul Dravid did a superb job as the head of NCA, helping develop a long list of young cricketers who went on to represent the senior national team.

VVS Laxman during his first day at the office in NCA, Bengaluru; Credit: Twitter/@VVSLaxman281
By Sreejith C R | Dec 14, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Former India batting great VVS Laxman on Monday started his tenure as the director of cricket at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. Last month, the elegant batsman had accepted the BCCI’s offer to take up the job, after his predecessor Rahul Dravid had relinquished the position to become the senior India team’s head coach. Although initially, he was a bit hesitant to move to the Garden city as it meant shifting from his residence in Hyderabad, but he agreed. Prior to this, he was associated with Indian Premier League (IPL) side Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) as their mentor.

“First day in office at the NCA! An exciting new challenge in store, look forward to the future and to working with the future of Indian cricket,” Laxman said in a social media post.

Laxman was technically one of the most gifted batsmen to have played the game. He had a stellar career scoring close to 90000 Test runs before retiring in 2012. The right-hander, along with Sourav Ganguly, Dravid, and Sachin Tendulkar formed the fab four of Indian cricket.

Earlier, he has also served as a batting consultant at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for six years as part of the ‘Vision 2020’ program aimed at tapping and promoting grassroots talent in Bengal. It was a role facilitated by current BCCI president Ganguly, who was the CAB joint secretary in 2014.

At NCA, Laxman will be looking after the education and skill-based programs not only for the players but also for the former players who aspire to become coaches. Laxman will be assisted by a coaching staff- batting, bowling, and fielding. It has been learnt that the BCCI has conducted interviews for these vacant positions and is yet to announce the names. 

Meanwhile, Laxman will leave the role as the mentor of IPL franchise SunRisers Hyderabad and commentary responsibilities to work at the NCA.

VVS Laxman has big shoes to fill at NCA

Laxman has big shoes to fill as Dravid did a superb job as the head of NCA, helping develop a long list of young cricketers who went on to represent the senior national team and many of them are knocking on the doors. Dravid’s role at the NCA has been attributed to the depth in bench strength that India possess across all formats of the game.

Dravid was an unsung hero in India’s last Test series triumph in Australia. The Indian team came back after being thrashed in the first Test to clinch the series despite all the injuries and setbacks. India’s bench strength was tested and the newcomers did a fabulous job to beat the mighty Aussies at their own backyard. Dravid took over the role in 2019 after serving as the head coach of the Under-19 and India A teams.

Ganguly said he had spoken to Laxman to take up the role of NCA chief after Dravid replaced Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the senior national team. The former India captain said it was heartening to see Laxman give up lucrative opportunities to work for the betterment of Indian cricket at the NCA.

“He (Laxman) is shifting to Bangalore for next three years from Hyderabad just to serve Indian cricket. It’s remarkable,” Ganguly told PTI.

“Of course, his earnings will drop but yeah, he has agreed. His wife and kids will also shift. His children will now study in a school in Bangalore and there will be a massive change as a family to shift base,” Laxman’s one-time India teammate said.

“It’s not easy unless you are so devoted to Indian cricket,” he added.

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