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Duleep Trophy set to be pushed ahead

The Irani Cup, the match between the Ranji winners and Rest of India, might no longer be the season-opener. Firoz Mirza & Anand Sachar report. In a nutshell

cricket Updated: Feb 18, 2012 01:30 IST
Firoz Mirza & Anand Sachar

The Irani Cup, the match between the Ranji winners and Rest of India, might no longer be the season-opener.

From now on, the season could start with the Duleep Trophy, the premier zonal tournament.

Rescheduling of the domestic itinerary was one of the prominent recommendations made by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) technical committee, headed by former India captain Sourav Ganguly, at its meeting on Friday.

T20s at the end
The proposed schedule has the Challenger Series followed by Duleep at the start of the season, which would be followed by Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy (the one-day events), and finally the domestic T20 tourney.

Chetan Chauhan, who represented North Zone at the meet, told HT, "We wanted to give more importance to the Duleep Trophy. Nowadays there is no interest left in it once the Ranji season is done. We want players to do well in it because their performances in Duleep will be kept in mind for national selection. We hope the star players can play since it has been advanced."http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/18-02-pg-21d.jpg

Ganguly strongly supported continuing with the Duleep Trophy. “The Duleep Trophy should stay. It adds value to the season.” The recommendations will have to be ratified by the Working Committee.

However, the recent talk of the BCCI playing all Ranji Trophy games on 'neutral' venues was not in the list of recommendations but Ganguly hopes that does not happen.

“Ultimately the BCCI takes a call on it. But personally, I feel we should persist with the home and away system.”

No games at Karnail
The board’s senior tournament committee has barred the Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) from hosting any match at Delhi's Karnail Stadium in the coming season.

The decision was taken after the panel discussed the poor pitch conditions at the venue as well as Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium for the tie against Maharashtra.

Committee chairman Sudhir Dabir said, “Hyderabad was let off as they admitted their batting didn't click in the match, unlike their opponents. The RSPB can suggest an alternate venue at Vizag, Bhubaneshwar or Mumbai.”