Pune: Former Indian Test player Balwinder Singh Sandhu said that he was elated on being appointed as the chief coach of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). Sandhu, the present Maharashtra Ranji Trophy team coach, said he was expecting it and his hard work and commitment to the game had paid off. He further said that he was honoured to be part of the excellent coaching scheme that the NCA has. ''It (NCA) is the best thing to happen to Indian cricket,'' he added. On whether he would have a free hand as a coach or would have to follow Rodney Marsh's order, who is a consultant for the NCA, Sandhu said that this aspect was yet to be discussed. ''We will sit across the table and formulate a plan,'' he added.