BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur has said that the cricket body needs to work on a lot of issues for the overall health of the sport, with the the national team’s “disappointing” performance in Tests abroad topping the priority list.
India have lost 11 of their last 15 overseas Tests, drawing other three and winning at Lord’s in their last away tour.
“I am quite disappointed with the team’s performance in the Test matches. We had a great opportunity in England after winning at Lord’s. Unfortunately things went wrong, we could not perform well after that win. We need to learn from previous goof-ups we have made and work on a strategy to improve overseas performance, especially in Tests,” Thakur told PTI in an interview.
The team faces another away Test in December when it tours Australia for a full-series with the ghosts of the 0-4 whitewash in the previous series still lingering.
“I think Australia series will be really important. The Test matches personally holds a lot of importance for me and I think the BCCI too is equally concerned,” said Thakur, who is also a seasoned politician.
The BJP MP and an avid cricket lover feels the talent pool needs to increase so the existing players are rotated properly.
“We also need to look at the talent pool as enough quality players should be available for selection in cases of injury. We also need to focus more on rehab so that there is less injury lapse and players are able to perform better,” said Thakur.
The 39-year-old stressed India must produce more international umpires and match referees.
“We have to work on a variety of issues. We don’t have many international umpires and match referees when we should. We also must focus on producing better pitches for domestic cricket and improving the organisation of matches,” he said.
Though he wears many hats, Thakur said he would love to contribute more to Indian cricket.
“I am with the BCCI from last 14-15 years and all this time I never opted for any position. It is the first time I have this position (from last three years). But it is not about the position, it is about delivery. When I took over I promised that we will ensure India A and junior teams travel abroad more for exposure and we have managed to do that.”
On a suitable replacement for Duncan Fletcher post the 2015 World Cup, Thakur said anyone suitable for the job, whether Indian or foreigner, should be appointed.
“The team did well under Gary Kirsten and John Wright,” he pointed out.
Thakur is also the man responsible for bringing international cricket to the picturesque town of Dharamsala, which prepares for its second ODI on Oct 17 with India taking on the West Indies. He is confident that the venue will soon be approved for Test cricket as well.
Overall, the Himachal cricket boss has grand plans for the HPCA Stadium, from making it a rehab hub for the cricketers to offering it to other sports and sportspersons.
“We want to utilise this facility not only for the promotion of cricket but for other sports too. It will help in generating more funds which we need for the stadium’s upkeep,” he said.