Nick Webb, who has worked with New Zealand women’s cricket team and Auckland-based rugby league outfit Warriors, has topped the three-man shortlist for the Indian cricket team’s strength and conditioning coach’s job.
The second and third names in the shortlist are Luke Woodhouse and India’s S Rajnikanth, the last one being the supposed choice of some of the top Indian players.
However, sources in the know of things said that unless there is a “miracle”, Rajnikanth will not get the job as he came third in the practical assessment at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
“Since the formalities of the appointment will be completed by CEO, we can’t say that Webb has got the job. But obviously he is the top choice and once the terms of appointment is finalised, he will be on board,” a senior BCCI official, privy to developments, said.
The 32-year-old has also worked with New Zealand’s first-class side Central Districts, also known as Stags. His last assignment was with the New Zealand women’s national team White Ferns.
It is learnt that the selectors and former Bengal and East Bengal football team trainer Ranadeep Moitra assessed the candidates during practical examination.
“One of the things that weighed in favour of Nick was the fact that he has been associated with a National Rugby League (NRL) team Warriors in New Zealand. He was found to be most suitable to take the benchmark that Shankar Basu had set to a different level,” said the official.
The tests at the NCA were conducted with U-19 campers being divided into batches of six players each under every aspirant.
“Webb’s communication and trouble shooting skills was considered as the best among the top three. As far as practical knowledge went, all three were on par,” the official informed.
That Webb is only 32-year-old was also factored in as he will be able to match the players during training sessions.