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Kolkata's Real Estate Giant Creates NCA-Like Private Facility By Roping Sandeep Patil, Leander Paes

Leander Paes & Sandeep Patil - Two veterans of their respective sports (x.com)Leander Paes & Sandeep Patil - Two veterans of their respective sports (x.com)

An ambitious project mirroring the Bengaluru-based National Cricket Academy was unveiled in Kolkata on Tuesday with former India cricketer Sandeep Patil appointed as its head in a five-year contract.

A former NCA director, Sandeep Patil has roped in his old team of Dinesh Nanavati, Gautam Shome and sports therapist Ashish Kaushik to be part of the venture.

"When they (Shrachi Sports Ventures) approached me, I took time to say 'yes'. I really liked what they are going to offer to the Indian cricket. That's how I've agreed," Patil said.

"Those who were at NCA with me Nanavati, Ashish, Shome, I've brought all of them here. It's a team that will work here."

This will cater to cricketers from the eastern region and north-east and will work in association with the Cricket Association of Bengal.

"From now on, no cricketer will have to go outside for any rehab or any fitness issues, the coaches and facility will cater to all their needs," Patil said.

Kolkata will be Sandeep Patil's new home

The 67-year-old Mumbaikar promised that he will make Kolkata his "new base" and will work for the development of the academy.

"I've not come here to conduct or supervise the course. I've come her for five years staying in Kolkata. I don't think I can do this while staying in Mumbai — I've never done this in my life. When I was a coach of Kenya, Oman or Madhya Pradesh, I made sure I stayed there fully," Patil said.

He further said the facility will gradually cater to all sports including tennis, football, basketball among others.

"Leander Paes will look after tennis. It will not just be cricket, it will be a full-fledged sports academy in future," Patil added.

The private cricket facility by the Shrachi Group, a city-based real estate conglomerate, is located at the Athlead International School in Joka.

It will not only "serve as the nodal rehab centre for cricketers but will give physical and mental training to coaches, rising cricketers", said its managing director Rahul Todi.

He further said they will also launch the football academy in the upcoming season to he headed by former India goalkeeper Bhaskar Ganguly.

"The expertise for mental conditioning, injury rehab will be common to all sports and we will just have coaches in different sports," he added.