It's vital to have a fixed domestic season

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Friday, December 27, 2002, 16:30 [IST]
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Bangalore: There was a time when Indian cricket used to be loaded with domestic tournaments with hardly any international fixtures to top them- so it seemed. The trend now has made a virtual 180-degree turn around.

We are having a good amount of international tours (no complaints what so ever, in fact a very positive and productive development) and hardly any domestic engagements.

This is mainly due to the fact that our domestic fixtures are stalled whenever the national squad is involved in an international tourney. As a result, barring the 15- 22 players the rest of the players on the circuit are kept idle.

It is a tough problem to solve. On the one hand we need international tournaments at the same time the development of cricket at the domestic level should not be affected.

I don't think that it is a healthy move to conduct your domestic tournaments with the absence of your top players. Then what would happen is that there would be some easy runs and wickets on offer given that there would be deprecation in quality. As a result, the performances of players may not be a true indicator of ability.

However, it is equally detrimental to the game to stall proceedings.

In my opinion, the ideal thing to do would be to have a fixed senior domestic season (during which period all official tournaments are held) and see to it that India does not involve itself in any international fixtures during that period. This could be for a duration of two-three months.

The remaining nine months India can keep itself busy, while the junior, sub-junior and invitational tournaments are conducted.

By doing this both domestic and international cricket is kept alive. This is vital in order to churn out young and upcoming talent.

As of now, many youngsters drop out of the fray for lack of tournaments. Given various avenues of entertainment and fields to excel in, the current generation needs to be nurtured with care as they get diverted very easily.

If women's cricket in India has to capture the attention of the public at large, one of the areas that needs attention is cricket at the grass-root level, where talent has to be tapped and groomed.

For this smooth running of domestic cricket is a must.


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