Former India skipper and batting legend Rahul Dravid can now take charge of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) without any hindrance of a potential conflict of interest after his employer India Cements on Tuesday (July 2) decided to send him on leave. 

Dravid was supposed to get on board as a “Head of Cricket” on a two-year contract from July 1 but the Committee of Administrators (COA) in a meeting asked him to first relinquish his post as vice-president of India Cements or be on leave until he completes his tenure at the NCA. 

There were speculations that Rahul might just have to resign from his position in India Cements, with whom he has been employed since 1994. However, as per a report in The Indian Express, it isn’t necessary and he can continue at that role once his term at the NCA culminates. 

After Rahul’s appointment, interviews for batting, spin and fast bowling coaches at the NCA is likely to also take place sometime next week. 

The shortlisted candidates, it is learnt, have already been intimated in this regard. The interviews will be conducted by the CoA and Saba Karim, the generation manager of cricket operations. It is yet unclear whether Dravid will also play a part in the process of other appointments. 

Meanwhile, it is further understood, NCA’s ambitious zonal academies will not materialise in the near future as there are concerns raised about them.

Long seen as a pet project, the zonal academies are practically difficult to implement as their presence would mean state units having a lesser role to play. An update on this matter is expected only after the new BCCI regime comes into being following all-important board election results on October 22. 

Dravid’s responsibilities will include monitoring the progress of India ‘A’ and under-19 teams, apart from creating development programmes for junior squads and the women’s team. 

He will no longer directly mentor the India under-19 and India ‘A’ teams, which he has been doing since 2015. Instead, former India pacer Paras Mhambrey and ex-wicket-keeper Abhay Sharma will take over the reins of respective sides. But they will still be reporting to Dravid. 

Mhambrey will travel with the under-19 team to England and Sharma will be in-charge of India “A” side that tours West Indies in July. Dravid will travel for these tours too, but only for a limited number of days