The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently held a two-day strength and conditioning camp for trainers across the country at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) under the watchful eyes of India trainer Shanker Basu. The workshop saw the NCA’s COO Tufan Ghosh in an all-new avatar. A part of the programme held in Bengaluru on February 18 and 19, the COO turned ‘Yoga Guru’ to help the trainers relax and reduce their stress while undergoing various drills in the workshop.
Strength and conditioning workshops can be really stressful and taxing on the body, especially since the trainers had a hectic schedule, having had to leave their respective state teams in the middle of preparations for the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy and then go back and join their respective teams once the camp was over.
And sources in the know of development told Hindustan Times that it was a great initiative from the COO to play an active part in helping the trainers feel at home as they looked to work closely under the guidance of India trainer Shanker Basu.
Ghosh supposedly looked to calm the trainers down by asking them to raise their hands, close their eyes and take a deep breath between interactions. This is an exercise that yoga instructors often ask their students to perform to cool their nerves down.
The move did come as a bit of a surprise to those present, but a board functionary present at the venue applauded the COO’s effort. “It did comes as a surprise, but his yoga guru role must have helped the trainers release anxiety and stress. Also, these workshops can often get very mechanical, but not this one,” he told Hindustan Times.
The programme started with the trainers assembling at the NCA conference hall after which GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim, COO Ghosh and Basu addressed them in their opening speeches. This was followed by warm-up exercises and mostly free hand exercises at the NCA ground.
Post this, the trainers (divided in groups) broke for a short tea break and then assembled in the weight room and did the weight-based exercises like clean and jerk, deadlifts, military press etc. This was followed by lunch and a one on one sessions with the COO.
The board functionary said that Ghosh was very active in the whole process and kept interacting with the trainers as he checked if they were clear with the concepts and whether they had any doubts. “He was hands on and kept asking the trainers if they were comfortable and if there was any sort of doubt in their mind with regards to the workshop,” he revealed.
Another board executive added: “It’s cute that he is willing to do anything to belong to the ‘gang’…realising how out of place he is in his role. I am reminded of the Beatles’ song, ‘Across the Universe..Jai Guru Deva! Om!’.”
The workshop ended with presentations at the NCA conference hall. While it was mostly the senior guys who were asked to attend the workshop on the first day, the newcomers hit the ground running on the second day.
Efforts to get in touch with Ghosh over call or message to share his experience of interacting with the trainers at the workshop failed as he refused to speak.