Time to rethink format to avoid dilution of talent

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Sunday, February 27, 2000, 19:30 [IST]
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Bangalore: The so-called formidable Air India has been flushed out of the 25th Senior Nationals in its very first round. Was it the Railways that had Air India stumble? No it was a lesser-known state side. As a matter of fact, just a week ago Air India was defeated by a depleted Andhra Pradesh side in the South Zone championship held at Chennai.

Two defeats at the hands of state sides in a matter of 10 days is a grim pointer at the quality of a team that qualifies to be a zonal unit by itself.

It is high time that the administration changed the way the country's premier tournament is played if it sincerely hopes to upgrade the standard of tournaments in the women's cricket scene.

For some time now the idea of the institutional players representing their respective sides has been floated around but unfortunately it has not got a hard look in. If only the powers that be would get down to making it happen there would be a marked difference (in fact a world of difference) to the quality of cricket exhibited.

Although there is a counter argument that by fielding seven teams instead of five many players are getting an opportunity to play, which they wouldn't have otherwise. However, what they fail to realise is that there is a severe dilution of talent, which on the contrary is proving to be acutely detrimental to the cause of the game.

One hopes that, now, with everybody getting to see that even state sides are capable of downing a zonal side, which quite frankly is a mockery of the game, the officialdom will take the necessary steps to restore quality in the game.

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