Kolkata to soon have NCA-like facilities; Sandeep Patil to be appointed project director

Sandeep Patil

Kolkata could soon have a facility like the Bengaluru-based National Cricket Academy (NCA) and the responsibility of ensuring the ambitious project lives up to expectations will fall on former Indian batsman Sandeep Patil.

The project was unveiled in Kolkata on Tuesday (July 2) and Sandeep Patil was appointed as its director. Shrachi Sports Ventures, which initiated the project, has given the former cricketer a five-year contract. The facility is located at the Athlead International School in Joka.

The former India batsman has served as the NCA director in the past and will look to make the most of his experience. A member of the Indian team that won the 1983 World Cup, Sandeep Patil has also roped in his former team, comprising Dinesh Nanavati, Gautam Shome and sports therapist Ashish Kaushik, to be part of the initiative.

“When they (Shrachi Sports Ventures) approached me, I took the time to say yes. I really liked what they were going to offer to Indian cricket. That’s how I agreed,” Sandeep Patil told PTI.

“Those who were with me at NCA, Nanavati, Ashish, Shome, I have brought them all here. It is a team that will work here,” he added.

No cricketer will have to go abroad: Sandeep Patil

The report stated that the newly launched project will cater to cricketers from the eastern and northeastern region. The project will also work in association with the Cricket Association of Bengal. Patil said that the new project will ensure that cricketers from the region do not have to go out for rehabilitation or any other services. Patil also said that the facility will cater to athletes from other sports as well.

“From now on, no cricketer will have to leave for rehabilitation or physical problems; the trainers and facilities will take care of all their needs,” Patil said.

“I have not come here to coach or supervise the course. I have been here for five years and have stayed in Kolkata. I don’t think I can do this while staying in Mumbai; I have never done it in my life. When I was coaching Kenya, Oman or Madhya Pradesh, I made sure I stayed there completely.

“Leander Paes will take care of tennis. It will not be just cricket but will be a full-fledged sports academy in future,” Patil added.

Patil has extensive coaching experience. He coached the Indian A team and also served as the technical director of the Indian team before joining Kenya as a coach. Under his guidance, Kenya qualified for the semi-final of the 2003 ODI World Cup. Later, Patil also coached Oman. He also plied his trade as a selector for the Indian team. As a cricketer, Patil represented India in 29 Tests and 45 ODIs, scoring over 2500 runs with the help of 4 centuries and 16 half-centuries.