‘Bit strange to be practicing in a public park’, laments Rahul Dravid as India coach misses ‘typical buzz’ in USA | Cricket News

Confirming that this T20 World Cup is going to be his last assignment as India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid would hope that he signs off by ending India’s wait for another ICC trophy after narrowly missing it at the ODI World Cup at home last year. But while Dravid prepares the Indian team for that, the former India captain isn’t happy with the facilities made available for practice in New York.

The organisers have designated Cantiague Park as the training facility for teams playing group fixtures in New York, while the matches will be played at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium. The two facilities are about five miles apart.

ALSO SEE: T20 World Cup Schedule

USA will host 16 group matches, with eight of those to be held in New York.

“It’s a bit strange to be practicing in a park,” said Dravid talking to reporters. “Obviously at the World Cups you’d be in big stadiums or you’d be at cricket stadiums traditionally. But you know, we’re at a public park and practicing,” said Dravid with more of a sarcastic smile.

A lot of debate has also been around the use of drop-in pitches at the Nassau County stadium, where India will play three of their four group matches, including the big game against Pakistan on June 9.

The Sri Lanka vs South Africa match on Monday fueled that debate further, after the Lankans were bowled out for their lowest T20I total of 77 and the Proteas took 16.2 overs to go past the target.

Dravid, meanwhile, is also missing the typical buzz usually associated with a tournament as big as a World Cup whenever it is is held in cricket hotbeds.

With cricket not big in the US, the lack of excitement locally is not unexpected.

“Obviously it’s slightly different. It’s obviously exciting that it’s coming to a new country, it’s coming to a new place. (It) feels slightly different in terms of, I guess, typically the buzz that you have around these events, with cricket not being one of the major sports in this country,” said Dravid.

“So you don’t feel that kind of buzz over here. But hopefully once our games start and a lot of the Indian fans do start coming in, you start seeing that similar kind of excitement.”

The head coach stressed that irrespective of any such factors, the team’s preparations and focus aren’t affected.

“But I think from a preparation perspective and from what we want to get out of it, I don’t think that’s changed. Our preparation, our professionalism, the way we are trying to approach things, it’s pretty, pretty similar to what we would normally do,” said Dravid.

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