The BCCI‘s new Centre of Excellence (CoE) which it plans to replace the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru will have pitches mimicking those found in Australia, New Zealand and England, multiple grounds for hosting tournaments, improved medical facilities, artificial intelligence among other new facilities. Also Read - IND vs ENG: Motera Pitch Likely to Escape ICC Ban as 4th Test Strip Promises to be Batting Beauty
The grand project will reportedly cost the richest cricket board in the world a whopping Rs 500 crore and is expected to be completed in the coming two years. Also Read - BCCI Announce India Women Squad For South Africa ODI, T20I Series; Mithali Raj to Lead in ODIs, Harmanpreet Kaur in-Charge of T20I Side
Batting legend Rahul Dravid, the current NCA director, is actively involved in the project. Also Read - India vs England: Michael Vaughan Blasts BCCI, ICC Over Motera Pitch Controversy, Calls India Pink-Ball Test Win 'Shallow'
“There can’t be any specific amount assigned to the project,” a BCCI official told The Times of India. “There will be tenders issued for each work. But going by the blueprint that’s in place, it is estimated that the project will cost around Rs 500 crore. There will be improvisations to the blueprint. The project is running six months late but with the new BCCI regime in place, work has begun in full swing. BCCI expects the CoE to be functional in another two years. NCA director Rahul Dravid is actively involved.”
He continued, “There is a lot of work put into the nature of pitches. Various types of clay and soil will be used for these hybrid pitches to mimick those found in countries like Australia, New Zealand England.”
There will be four grounds at the CoE which will be utilised for hosting domestic tournaments, warm-up games and other preparatory matches. “There are zonal games. Touring teams also play warm-up matches and there are other preparatory games organised by the board organizes. The grounds can also be used for domestic tournaments if grounds across the country are not available at any point. There is also an idea to have an NCA team,” the official said.
The board is also going to introduce athlete monitoring system, biomechanical bowling coach among others as part of its plan to employ artificial intelligence. “The BCCI has already got the athlete monitor system and biomechanical bowling coach. There are a few more ideas in the pipeline to grow with the modern game,” the official said.