Dravid Offers Plan To Facilitate Alternative Careers For Young People > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Dravid proposes plan to facilitate alternative careers for youngsters

Rahul Dravid emphasised the need to enhance life skills of young cricketers outside of the sport

Life after retirement is one of the biggest anxieties facing professional sportsmen the world over. In India, with youngsters today being encouraged to take up sport as a career, and the simultaneous drying up of public sector employment, the drop-out rates, particularly in cricket, continue to remain high. Understanding this uncertainty and seeking a more holistic development of young cricketers, the Indian cricket board is mulling a concept where it would play a facilitator for cricketers to get jobs outside the sport.

The idea was first mooted by former India captain Rahul Dravid at a recent meeting with board officials, where he emphasised the need to enhance life skills of young cricketers outside of the sport. With the cut-throat competition prevalent in cricket today, Dravid recognised that emerging players have very little time to focus on their education, with a lucrative sport and the promise of riches often proving a mirage.

Dravid has been in charge of the India U-19 and 'A' teams for over three years now, making him a voice closest to such realities. And recognising the immediacy of his suggestions, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) COO Tufan Ghosh and the board officials are working on a structure to give this idea on imparting life education a shape.

The officials are seeking out placement agencies and other firms to help in training young cricketers and offering them alternate career options if they struggle to continue with the game. "Dravid and the other coaches here had pointed out the need to start such a process. We are working towards formulating a structure before it is sent to the higher authorities in BCCI to get things going," Ghosh told TOI.

The overall idea itself is not new, with the BCCI taking a leaf from a similar system at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala where trainee athletes complete their primary education through open school examinations. "Right now, we can't be teaching them like what happens in NIS, but Dravid has emphasized on life education," said Ghosh, adding that Dravid has felt the need to develop other virtues of a cricketer to prepare the person beyond the riches in Indian cricket.

As a start, the board will be targeting players between the age of 17 and 21 for vocational training. "Most of the cricketers these days are so engrossed in playing the game that they don't look at any other aspect of life," Ghosh said. "It has been observed a lot of these young players quit cricket by 21. Then it's a struggle for them to lead a stable life. We are looking at life coaching, internships with companies and training in other vocational courses and then facilitating jobs for the youngsters."

Of course, there are logistical issues in spreading this concept across a cricket-crazy nation, but the NCA is hopeful. "We will try to align the state bodies and academies. And if the players from various state bodies feel the need to avail this facility then they can do that easily. We are looking at roping in a good number of companies."

The target, it appears, would be tapping the hospitality sector. To start with, the facility will target the trainees that come to the NCA. Dravid has already been devoting a lot of time to his wards and holding sessions to develop their personalities. Before the last two U-19 World Cups, lectures were organised on various aspects. Psychologists were brought in to speak to the players along with workshops on building roles of responsibility. These lectures are already part of the NCA curriculum.

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