Home & away format for Ranji Trophy gets support from captains and coaches

In order to make Ranji Trophy matches more competitive and reduce stress on the players, this year the BCCI divided the first-class teams into four pools instead of three

cricket Updated: Mar 12, 2018 22:16 IST
Ranji Trophy,Board of Control for Cricket in India,BCCI
A number of issues surrounding the Ranji Trophy and domestic cricket were discussed at the annual conclave of captains and coaches.(HT file photo)

While there was unanimous support for the home-and-away match format in the Ranji Trophy, there were a few concerns expressed by the captains and coaches at their annual conclave, a platform for domestic players to provide feedback to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), held in Mumbai on Monday.

“The home and away match format got a positive response. Everyone feels it is better than playing on neutral venues (which the BCCI tried in the 2016-17 season),” an insider present at the meeting said.

In order to make matches more competitive and reduce stress on the players, this year the BCCI divided the first-class teams into four pools instead of three. “It made the matches more competitive but reduced the number of matches from eight in a three-pool league, to six matches.”

It meant lesser opportunities and decrease in match allowances due to reduced number of playing days.

There was a mention by the BCCI representative that the issue of the reduced number of matches could get automatically addressed as there’s a good chance that the teams from the North East could be granted affiliation and a chance to play the Ranji Trophy. In their report, the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee has recommended that all the teams from the North East need to be equal stakeholders in the BCCI. Whether it’s practically possible remains to be seen because there’s a huge gulf in the standard of cricket teams from the region.

Most of the teams have an issue with the use of white SG-Glace ball for limited overs tournaments instead of the Kookaburra. The general refrain is the quality doesn’t match. But, the Board representative said it was an experiment the Board is trying and they would go back to the manufacturers and ask them to improve the quality as they intend to introduce it in international matches in India. As of now, the Kookaburra is used in the Indian Premier League and limited overs international games in India.

The Kookaburra ball (around Rs. 10,000 per ball) is quite expensive compared to the locally manufactured ball.

There were lot of complaints about the umpiring standard. The BCCI official assured steps to improve that by conducting tests and inducting younger umpires.

To prevent teams from doctoring pitches to gain results, a suggestion was made to hold five-day matches in the league stage as it would give enough time to force a result.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators has increased the domestic men’s players’ per-day fee to Rs. 35,000 from Rs. 10,000. But BCCI’s acting honorary secretary Amitabh Choudhary has yet to accept it. The captains wanted to understand the status, and were assured it would be cleared in the near future.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 20:16 IST