The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Anurag Thakur has called for Ranji Trophy matches to be played at neutral venues after nine matches in the group stage finished in two days.
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The obsession for outright victories and earning the bonus point has led to several curators being put under intense pressure from captains and coaches to dish out wickets to suit the home team.
Thakur, speaking in his personal capacity, told SUNDAY mid-day: "I personally feel if the pitch is given to the curator then what's the harm in playing at neutral venues? This way, the curator will also be independent. This is my viewpoint."
Thakur said that domestic captains expressed the need for balanced pitches in the last BCCI's captains and coaches conclave.
"For proper development of the game, it was discussed that we should prepare wickets which are helpful for everyone — fast bowlers and spinners. The pitches should have good bounce and carry. However, we will take feedback from captains and coaches (about the wickets) and see what best we can do," said Thakur.
In the last four Ranji Trophy seasons, only four matches finished inside two days but in the last two rounds of the Ranji Trophy group stage this season, a staggering 15 outright victories were witnessed out of 24 games. From the 15, four games finished inside two days while six matches ended up being three-day affairs.
'Wickets are poor'
Former India skipper and India's junior team coach, Rahul Dravid, was disappointed to see the Bengal versus Odisha Ranji Trophy match at Kalyani in West Bengal on November 23 finish in two days as the hosts won by 133 runs.
"I don't want to specifically mention the Bengal game, but all around in the Ranji Trophy this year, teams are producing poor wickets — square turners where matches are finishing in two or three days. I don't think it's good for the health of Indian cricket," Dravid was quoted as saying in the media.
"At the Ranji Trophy level, we are looking to prepare players for the international stage. What I have seen recently, these wickets are poor. I really don't think it's good for Indian cricket because if you think about them, it's a waste of time, energy and money," he added.
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