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BCCI scheduling could wash away a few hopes

It's between October and December that the retreating monsoons hit this part of the country. It has been pouring relentlessly throughout the week and it rained on Saturday as well. And, quite inexplicably, the Indian cricket board has scheduled the Duleep Trophy final right in the eye of the 'Chennai thunderstorm'. Anand Sachar reports.

cricket Updated: Oct 20, 2012 23:41 IST
Anand Sachar

It's between October and December that the retreating monsoons hit this part of the country. It has been pouring relentlessly throughout the week and it rained on Saturday as well. And, quite inexplicably, the Indian cricket board has scheduled the Duleep Trophy final right in the eye of the 'Chennai thunderstorm'.

Heading into the title-decider, the worst fears seem to be coming true. So, was it a wise decision on the part of the BCCI to schedule the game in Chennai?

Not only is the game at the Chidambaram Stadium between East Zone and Central Zone --- from Oct 21- 25 --- the final of a premier domestic competition, it is also the last chance for some players to impress the selectors before England arrive.

With the India 'A' team, which will face England in the first warm-up game, to be announced on October 24, the oversight on the part of the BCCI could ruin the chances of a few aspirants.

"When they knew it was raining heavily, and there was possibility of more rain, why was the game scheduled here? They could have slotted the match in Hyderabad or Vizag," a player said on condition of anonymity.

The risk of missing an opportunity before a long and important home season has miffed the players. "With teams such as England and Australia coming, this was the time to put in a good show. But now it is doubtful," said another player. With more rains predicted over the next three days, the teams would be fortunate to manage a game without interruptions.

It was a similar scenario in September, when rains forced the Irani Cup tie between Ranji champions Rajasthan and Rest of India to be shifted from Jaipur to Bangalore. Wasn't a similar option given for the Duleep Trophy final?

"How can you shift a game when it is scheduled at a venue?" said BCCI secretary, Sanjay Jagdale. When reminded that an exception had been made during the Irani Cup, he said, "That we had learnt about 15 days in advance, not at the last minute."

The board's lack of foresight could leave the players as the biggest losers. After 1,034 runs at an average of 86.16 in the 2011/12 Ranji season, another strong outing for Rajasthan's Robin Bist can bring his name up for discussion. Ashok Dinda, after a superb last season, has a great opportunity. With a match-winning century for East Zone in the last game, Jharkhand's Saurabh Tiwary too could be hoping for a repeat showing, rain relenting.

East players leave venue
The East Zone players, who arrived for pre-match practice on Saturday, headed back to the hotel in a jiffy due to "cramped conditions" at the indoor venue. The Central Zone players had no such qualms.