BCCI committee suggests postponing 2016 Duleep Trophy

The Duleep Trophy inter-zonal cricket tournament, conducted uninterrupted by the Cricket Board since 1961-62, could be postponed next season if the BCCI's Working Committee approves the recommendations of its Technical Committee that met on Tuesday.

The Anil Kumble-headed Technical Committee has recommended to the Working Committee that the Duleep Trophy, once considered as virtually the selection trials for picking Test teams, be postponed because India would be hosting the ICC World T20 during the period it's being played, said BCCI in a media release.

"Considering that India is hosting the ICC World T20 2016 in March-April 2016, the Committee proposed to postpone the Duleep Trophy, which is scheduled during that period," it said.

Among other recommendations that the Technical Committee decided was to revamp the Ranji Trophy points system to encourage outright wins, change the format of the inter-zonal Deodhar Trophy into a three-team event and re-format the one-day inter-state tournament and the T20 tournament for the Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

"In continuation to the efforts made over the years, a review of the existing points system in the Ranji Trophy was discussed with an objective to encourage teams to aim for outright victories.

"It was proposed to abolish the current system of awarding 3 points for the first innings lead and 1 point for the other team, and introduce a bonus point system for batting and bowling, applicable in the first innings only.

"One bonus point will be awarded to a team scoring 300 runs in 85 overs and one bonus point for a team taking 7 wickets in 85 overs. However, the current system of awarding 6 points for an outright win and a bonus point if applicable, will continue," BCCI said about changes proposed in Ranji Trophy.

"It was also proposed to revamp the current format of the Deodhar Trophy and have three teams participating - the winner of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, and two teams picked by the national selectors," the release said.

"It was also proposed to reformat the One-Day Inter-State Seniors' tournament and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament by forming four groups from across the country, as against the current zonal system," the release said.

The Technical Committee also welcomed the Board's measures in tackling the menace of illegal bowling actions. "The Committee appreciated the efforts of the BCCI and the approach taken to curb illegal suspected bowling action cases and the remedial steps being undertaken. The Committee recommended that the ICC protocols be followed in toto, which will further strengthen the current process," it said.

The Kumble-led panel also proposed that the process of pitch preparations needed to be improved. "The Committee expressed concern on the wicket preparation undertaken at some of the venues and suggested various measures to improve the reporting process, which will help in taking appropriate corrective measures, in the future.

"It was a fruitful discussion with an increased focus on strengthening domestic cricket. These recommendations are a summary of three major meetings, which includes the Captains & Coaches Conclave and the Technical Committee meetings, this year. We hope that some of the measures suggested, will make domestic cricket more interesting and challenging," Kumble said.

"After seeking feedback from all our stakeholders, we discussed these salient points in the Technical Committee meeting. Some of these recommendations could have a long-term impact and help in achieving our objectives and address our immediate demands of the forthcoming cricket season," said BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur.

"I am confident that we will be able to increase the competitiveness in the upcoming domestic season," he added.

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