Anil Kumble, the technical committee head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), was a happy man after the nearly four-hour Captains and Coaches Conclave to review the 2012-13 domestic season yesterday.
It is learnt that the new Ranji Trophy format was well received by the teams even as there were a few suggestions to better it. Almost all 27 teams were unanimous and against the demanding schedule of the Ranji Trophy.
“There was a common consensus that the three-day gap (between Ranji matches) was not ideal. They want a minimum of four days between matches. We could have some matches with three days in between, while others could have four days. We will have to see how it works,” Kumble told reporters. In the new Ranji format, every team was assured eight league games.
Another suggestion was to have knockout matches at neutral venues. “Many felt that the knockout round should be at neutral venues so that it would negate the home advantage. Overall, everyone has liked the new format (having three groups instead of two — Elite and Plate divisions). The quality of pitches has improved and the overall standard of umpiring is better too. It’s a continuing process,” said Kumble, who has called for a technical meeting later this month to discuss the suggestions.
Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni suggested that the one-day tournament (Vijay Hazare Trophy) should also be played in the Ranji format, abolishing the zonal structure.
“We play the same opponents (from West Zone) every year. It is a routine. Only when you reach knockout stage, do you get to play different teams. We should have something similar to the Ranji system, where teams are divided into groups and opponents are decided as per the draw,” said Kulkarni. Kumble though was not convinced about the idea. “It will be a logistical nightmare. We will have to see how it can be made possible,” he said.
Former India spinner Sunil Joshi, who is the coach of Hyderabad, suggested that an extra point be awarded to teams enforcing a follow-on. “We must change the defensive mindset if we want results. Currently, teams are happy with a first innings lead,” he said.