To counter the issue of dead pitches, the cricket board has decided to hold all games in the 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season at neutral venues. The call was taken at the BCCI working committee meeting in Chennai on Monday.
However, it's an experiment which was tried earlier (in 2007 to 2009 for Ranji knockout matches) and failed. Hence it raises doubts whether the move would make any significant difference in improving the quality of pitches. Former India captain and selection committee chairman, Dilip Vengsarkar, termed the move 'impractical.' Vengsarkar told HT, “This move won't help in improving the quality of cricket.”
He said the only way to improve the wickets was to make the staging associations accountable. “The associations must be fined heavily if they fail to provide proper wickets. The BCCI gives grants to make sure the infrastructure is good, and if they fail to do that, they have to be held accountable.”
The BCCI took the decision after some of the pitches used during the just concluded Ranji Trophy came under scrutiny for being lifeless, including the one used for the final in Chennai.
Vengsarkar said, “We tried this (playing in neutral venues) a few years back in the knockout stages and it failed. So it makes little sense to try it again.”
Former India opener W.V Raman said it was an interesting concept, but added, “It won't ensure that the nature of tracks change overnight. Maybe one of the positives that can come out is the teams will now have to play out of their comfort zones and will be exposed to different conditions.”