Sydney, Feb.21 (ANI): Neil D'Costa is a cricket coach with a difference. He has made a name for himself by pitching two youngsters into the Australian Test squad in the last five years - Michael Clarke and Phil Hughes, and now his own career is also undergoing a change.
He has been invited to coach at a cricket academy in Nagpur, India.
Flown out to meet the boss, the chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Shashank Manohar, he was astonished not only by the facilities, but also by Manohar's intelligence and vision.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the academy at Nagpur is at an old Test ground and includes a 40-room hostel, 16 turf nets, a gym, a medical room and a sports science wing.
He has accepted the opportunity, and from May 1 will oversee 80 students in two squads.
D'Costa will be biting his fingernails as Phillip Hughes takes guard at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg next week. D'Costa also hopped on a plane alongside numerous family members to go to watch Clarke make his memorable debut in Bangalore. But this time he will follow events on TV.
He has too many gifted players to coach at his centre in Picnic Point, youngsters with semi-finals coming up and so on. He cannot let them down.
D'Costa has learnt to let go.
D'Costa believes in the holistic approach to coaching, concentrating on attitude to life as much as cricketing technique. Perhaps it comes from his mixed background. His parents were born in Chennai, India, and came to Australia in their 20s to join relatives and to avoid political strife.
His father was coached by Lala Amarnath, and in his turn played alongside Len Pascoe and Jeff Thomson at Bankstown. (ANI)