Caught on the backfoot over the launch of Subhash Chandra's Indian Cricket League (ICL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) plans to invest over Rs 800 crore in over 30 residential academies to train potential champions of Indian cricket.
As a starting point, the BCCI has identified 30 acres on the outskirts of Bangalore where it will set up a new National Cricket Academy (NCA).
The full-fledged residential academy will accommodate the country's top 80 emerging cricketers and be equipped with a health centre, gymnasium and restaurants. The current NCA is housed at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, which comes under the Karnataka State Cricket Association.
Confirming the development, chief administrative officer, BCCI, Ratnakar Shetty, said: "BCCI is looking at a major revamp to bring new talent and will have a three-tier structure to set up residential coaching academies that we will partly fund."
The move might make it tougher for the ICL to attract more talent at the top of the pyramid.
As part of an elaborate structure for nurturing cricketing talent, the BCCI will set up 27 state academies (in collaboration with state cricket associations) and five zonal academies.
Sources said the BCCI had paid a token amount of Rs 25 lakh for an indoor northern zonal academy in Delhi. The Board will soon set up an eastern zonal academy in Kolkata, a central academy in Rajasthan, a western academy in Mumbai and a southern academy in Bangalore.
"The idea of controlling these academies is to conduct activities throughout the year," said Shetty.
He added each of these academies would be up and running by 2009. Under the financing structure, the 27 associations would be given around half the total cost, or up to a maximum of Rs 25 crore each to set up the residential academies.