Replacing Nitin Patel, experienced physio Kamlesh Jain has joined the Indian team support staff on a full-time basis ahead of the home T20I series against the Proteas, starting on June 9 in Delhi.
Jain has been recruited by the BCCI for the head physio’s position in place of Patel, who will now be playing the same role at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
Reports had been doing the rounds about the Jain-Patel switch since the middle of last month and now the BCCI has put a stamp of approval on the appointment of a new member of the Rahul Dravid led support staff.
Jain is a vastly experienced physio, having been part of the Kolkata Knight Riders set-up for the last 10 years in the Indian Premier League. For three of those years, he was KKR’s head physio and did a job keeping their best players on the park without picking up too many injuries.
KKR CEO Venky Mysore said the franchise will miss Jain, a “thorough professional” for the work he has managed to put in. But the two-time IPL winners are also “delighted” for one of their own to get the higher recognition within Indian cricket.
“Kamlesh has been an outstanding physio and a resource for the Knight Riders. He joined us as an assistant physio in 2012 and grew very well as a professional. We promoted him as Head Physio of KKR in 2020 and are now delighted to see him being part of the Indian cricket team,”he was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz, with KKR promoting Prasanth Panchada to the head physio role after Jain’s exit.
Jain was interviewed by head coach Rahul Dravid, NCA director VVS Laxman and BCCI officials before getting the nod for the India gig.
His first assignment is the T20I series against South Africa, from which it has been learnt that a part of the support staff will be heading to England on June 16 along with the Test regulars picked for the Edgbaston Test, starting July 1.
Dravid will stay on for the whole series and leave for the United Kingdom only on June 19 alongside KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, three players selected for both the T20Is and the Test. The head coach will be assisted for the South Africa series by some of the NCA staff as well.
This staff may travel to Ireland, too, for a pair of T20Is on June 26 and 28, when Laxman will be the interim head of the support staff of an alternate Indian side.
The main squad, barring the white-ball specialists, will be under Dravid’s tutelage as they embark on the tour of England in July, the build-up to which starts with a four-day warm-up game against Leicestershire from June 24.