With emphasis on quality pitches for the upcoming Ranji season, the programme and fixtures committee of the BCCI, which met on Monday, has left the decision of choosing the knockout venues to the grounds and pitches committee. Venues will no longer be decided on where the teams last faced each other and it’s unlikely that teams will have a home advantage.
After three Ranji quarterfinals and one semifinal last season were decided on first-innings lead, the call for sporting wickets grew louder. "In September itself, 10 venues will be short listed. It will give the groundsmen enough time to work on the wickets.
From those, the ground and pitches committee in consultation with the technical committee chairman will decide on the venues for the knockout matches," Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI’s general manager for game development told HT.
The move could mean that the knockouts are played out on neutral venues. While the move risks reducing an already abysmal attendance at the matches, the BCCI hopes to have better contests.
Former India left-arm spinner Maninder Singh believes this was a step in the right direction. "Anyway there isn’t a lot of crowd interest. At least the home advantage will be negated. We can have better cricket," he told HT.