Domestic coaches hailed the recommendations of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) technical committee headed by Sourav Ganguly to revamp the Ranji Trophy.
The committee recommended doing away with Elite and Plate divisions, and will be replaced by three groups A, B and C of nine teams each. Each team will play eight matches in the league stage and there will be promotions and relegations. Three teams each from groups A and B, and two from group C will qualify for the knockout phase. The final decision will be taken during a BCCI Working Committee meeting.
Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy coach, Sulakshan Kulkarni said the new format would give rise to some freshness. “It is pleasing that some efforts are being taken to make the tournament more exciting. This will definitely bring some freshness to the championship. Very few people turn up to watch Ranji Trophy nowadays. I hope these changes bring in some more people to the stadiums,” Kulkarni told MiD DAY yesterday.
“We may encounter new teams this time which will be exciting. It will also give better exposure to Plate teams as they are sure to play eight matches, which wasn’t the case earlier,” added Kulkarni.
Another major proposal is to make the Ranji quarter-finals and semi-finals five-day affairs. According to the current format, only the final is a five-day game.
If a result on first innings is not obtained at the end of the fifth day in the knock-out phase, the match will be extended to Day Six. If there is still no outcome, the winner will be decided on the spin of the coin.
Uttar Pradesh coach Gyanendra Pandey felt five-day games would do justice to knockout clashes. “It is a good decision to extend quarters and semis. It will give equal chances to both teams. Earlier, there was no scope of a fightback,” he said.
Ganguly & Co have also encouraged teams to go for outright wins. For an outright win, teams will get six points instead of five. There is a bonus point for teams winning by an innings or by 10 wickets. “This will definitely make the tournament more exciting and result-oriented,” said Pandey.
Kulkarni, however, sympathised with the losing team, who will fetch no points in an outright win for their opponents. “That’s a bit hard on the losing side. They deserves at least one point for playing for four days,” he said.