ACB to have Centre of Excellence for game

Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2001, 20:18 [IST]
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Adelaide: Australia's famed cricket academy will have more players but will cut down on live-in training in an overhaul of the institution, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) said on Wednesday. ACB chief executive James Sutherland said the board's directors had agreed in principle to recommendations made following a review of cricket development in Australia. "This plan for the future clearly extends beyond the cricket academy and the plan involves creating a Centre of Excellence for Australian cricket," Sutherland said in Adelaide. Central to the plan will be ending the current 30-week live-in scholarship course for 14 young cricketers a year at the Adelaide-based academy, a joint venture between the ACB and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). Under the new system, all state cricket associations' full and rookie contracted players aged under 23 will automatically be enrolled in the academy, but for shorter stints during the cricket off-season. Sutherland said this would increase the number of cricketers attending the academy from 14 to 30 and also raise their age level from the current norm of mainly 18 and 19-year-olds. The academy would remain in Adelaide, at least for the short term, with its programme of international tours to continue. Sutherland said the review was partly prompted by the increasing professionalism of state cricket and the increased average age of state cricketers. It was also part of an AIS requirement for high performance programmes and coincided with the recent resignation of Rod Marsh after 10 years as academy head coach, to take up a similar role in England.

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