The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s latest circular to the state associations, asking them to release their Under-19 players for a one-day tournament, has ignited a controversy before the next round of the Ranji Trophy matches, starting on December 25.
The India U-19 team for the tour of New Zealand will be picked up on the basis of this tournament, to be held in Mumbai from December 28 to January 3.
Several Ranji teams banking heavily on juniors — like Ishant Sharma, Virat Kohli (Delhi), Tanmaya Srivastava (UP), V Yomahesh (Tamil Nadu), Sunny Sohal, Amanpreet Singh (Punjab) — are likely to be suffer if they release these players for this tournament.
The letter is signed by the BCCI joint secretary MP Pandove, who told HT: “If the junior selectors do not watch these players, how can they select the Indian team? I know a few teams will suffer badly, but if that is the case, it only shows that these states are bankrupt in talent.”
DDCA sports secretary Sunil Dev, however, said: “Does it make sense to ask these juniors to skip the country’s premier tournament for this event?”
“Anyhow, there cannot be too many changes in the Indian U-19 team that toured England and Pakistan early this year, and the selectors have already seen these players in the Cooch Behar tournament,” Dev added.
Delhi cricket officials have got in touch with the other states associations and are planning to take their case to the BCCI president Sharad Pawar. They are also likely to discuss the issue at the BCCI’s working committee meeting at Mumbai on Saturday.
Pandove, though, remains undeterred. “It’s not possible for us to conduct this tournament without these key players,” he said. “North, West and Central Zone all have four-five players in their Ranji teams. As for the question of these states talking to Mr Pawar or other officials, they are free to explore all options.”