The BCCI”s (Board of Control for Cricket in India) technical committee has proposed series of changes to domestic cricket tournaments especially to all important Ranji Trophy which in new format will be played as single division instead of as Elite and Plate Divisions.
The technical committee headed by former Indian team captain Sourav Ganguly today recommended the changes to the BCCI after a two hour meeting which includes Anil Kumble as special guest in the discussion. The changes proposed must be approved by BCCI working committee when its meets later to decide whether to implement changes or not.
Ganguly speaking to reporters about proposed changes said, ” We have recommended two major changes in Ranji Trophy format. There will be nine teams in three groups A, B and C. Each team will play eight matches in the league stage and there will be promotion and relegation.”
In the current playing format, Elite Division was divided into two groups of A (8 teams) and B (7 teams). The Plate Division was also divided into two groups of A and B consisting of six teams each.
In the newly proposed format, the top three from group B would be promoted to group A and top two from group C would be promoted to group B whereas bottom three from group A would be relegated to group B and bottom two from group B would be relegated to group C.
Also in case, if result is not obtained at the end of 5th day in knockout phase, then the match will be extended to 6th day. If the 1st innings is not completed by even at the end of 6th day, then the winner will be decided in spin of coin. Though it is not clear whether spin of coin or earlier points earned in group stages will be used when rain washes out the entire match (6th day included).
The point system of Ranji Trophy came under severe attack earlier this year from many former and current players. Aakash Chopra’s many suggestions were rejected in the last technical meeting but now, changes were proposed in points system. A outright win must give 6pts to the winner and in case of draw, both teams must be given 3pts irrespective of who leads by 1st innings.
Changes were proposed to limited over cricket also. In accordance with newly suggested changes by ICC committee, two bouncers per over is suggested along with allowing one bowler to bowl maximum of 12 overs.
The most surprising and good thinking change is the inclusion of National one day champions in the N K P Salve Challenger Series. “The Board selectors will pick the two teams while the Vizare Hazare Trophy winners will be the third team in Challenger Series,” said Ganguly.
Last but not the list, after poor overseas performance and open outcry for more lively pitches in domestic cricket, technical committee acknowledged the concerns by all and asked the board to prepare some pitches with more grass and bounce.
Some recommendations are very good but whether the root cause for current system failure is discussed? Also, the pros and cons of proposed changes will be known in coming days when deep analysis are made.
Till then, we should be atleast happy that something is done instead of nothing.