BCCI conclave: House divided on Ranji Trophy ties at neutral venues

Opinion was divided on whether all Ranji Trophy matches should be played at neutral venues during the captains and coaches conclave of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Dharamsala yesterday.


The neutral venue system was a recommended by the BCCI's Technical Committee recently in order to negate the unfair home advantage teams take by doctoring pitches to suit them.

While many supported playing at neutral venues, some coaches highlighted the drawbacks of playing all matches away from their home base. However, an official, who was present for the conclave, said the BCCI wouldn't mind trying it for one season. The Working Committee today in Dharamsala will ratify the Technical Committee's recommendations.

Referral talk
Though neutral venues remained the biggest talking point, there was an interesting suggestion from an association to have referral system for domestic games.

Taking into account the poor standards of umpiring in some matches, a need was expressed to approach the third umpire for decisions apart from run outs. Although the Indian cricket team is against the use of DRS (Decision Review System), the suggestion at the BCCI conclave found many supporters.

The wear and tear of SG cricket balls was also brought up strongly in the meeting. Teams have often complained of the ball going out of shape too early or not holding up for 90 overs in a first-class game.

There was another suggestion to end the game by tea time on the final day if there is no result in sight. It was also advocated to have more gaps between limited overs games as most teams end up playing five to six one-day or T20 games in one week.

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