Ranji captains meet discuss scrapping toss

Published: Friday, June 4, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai :Novel suggestions ranging from doing away with the toss to avoid playing any first class fixtures in north zone centres beset with winter fog in December/January were aired at the one day conclave of Ranji captains and coaches organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Mumbai on Friday.

"There were also discussions about the lack of quality of the balls being used in domestic cricket, umpiring standards and a suggestion to change the Ranji Trophy preliminary league phase from four-day ties to five-day matches," BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said after the meeting.

Twenty seven units affiliated to the BCCI were represented at the conclave which was presided over by Dalmiya and BCCI's technical committee chairman Sunil Gavaskar.

Gavaskar, addressing the media persons, said the idea to do away with the toss to prevent home teams from preparing pitches loaded in their own favour came from the BCCI's side.

"From the technical committee's side, we suggested that one way to avoid this is to do away with the toss. It's one of the laws of the game, I know. We have told them to go back to their respective units, discuss the suggestion and write back to us within three weeks' time," Gavaskar said.

Endorsing Dalmiya's opening remarks to the media that the conclave saw free and frank discussions, Gavaskar described it as a "terrific interactive session. The fact that so many turned up means they all felt that last year'sconclave had been of great help."

"It was also felt that teams tend to slow down the over-rates to avoid defeats. They felt the current level of monetary penalties were not substantial enough to prevent these happenings in view of the rise in match fees. We have asked them to go back to their units and then send in their suggestions to BCCI on this count," Gavaskar said.

He said the time frame for the captains and coaches to send in their feedbacks has been fixed as three weeks, which may not be possible to be adhered to by all. He added the technical committee is likely to meet in the third week of June to take further stock.

"We also recommended standardizing of equipment like the weight of the rollers and what constituted a heavy roller etc," he said.

"There have been complaints about a few players' behaviour from match referees and umpires. As a former player I told them to play hard and fair and to cut out abuses," the former India captain said.

He said that some participants wanted the duration of preliminary league matches to be increased from four days to five in Ranji Trophy, because in some matches not even the first innings could be completed because of the placid nature of the pitches.

In this respect, Dalmiya said it had to be seen whether this sort of one-sided contests between bat and ball happened often or infrequently through last year's statistics.

The BCCI chief said that similar to last year when the technical committee's suggestions post the one day conclave, most of which were finally implemented by the Board, would be taken up at the BCCI's working committee and acted upon.

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