Ranji Trophy format recommended for juniors

Published: Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Technical committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)on Wednesday recommended to the BCCI to introduce Ranji Trophy format -- Elite and Plate divisions -- for junior cricketers.

The Cooch Behar trophy, played on zonal league basis by Under-19 cricketers, was suggested by the committee which met in Bangalore to be organised similar to the Ranji trophy format of the seniors.

"Only difference is that this Under-19 tournament will have 25 teams (minus Railway and Services teams), while Ranji Trophy has 27 teams," chairman of the committee Sunil Gavaskar said after the meeting.

Suggestion was to put 15 teams into the Elite division -- three groups of five teams each -- and ten teams in Plate division -- two groups of five teams each, Gavaskar explained.

He pointed out that the panel is only a recommendary committee and there is nothing binding on the BCCI.

The committee recommended holding of Under-19 tournaments in one zone as there is worry that junior cricketers spend too much time away from home and travelling, and are not able to concentrate on exams.

Meanwhile, the Committee felt that there is no need to enhance the duration of the league phase for Ranji Trophy from the present four days to five days.

Similarly, it favoured status quo in terms of promotion and relegation from Elite and Plate divisions -- which is currently two teams -- to maintain "competitive interest".

The committee recommended that two teams should qualify from each zone -- instead of the present one -- in the All India knock-out One-day tournament.

On suggestions at the captain's conclave in Mumbai recently regarding doing away with the toss to avoid "doctored pitches" by the host team, Gavaskar said since it's a radical idea captains have been told to have wider consultations with senior players and umpires and then pass on the feedback.

"Since we did not get feedback, we have decided not to go ahead with it," he added.

On the issue of pitches-not-suitable-for-playing prepared by host team, the committee suggested giving the power to match referee and umpires to report on the pitches.

In cases where the host team is reported to have prepared such poor pitches, the committee has recommended making the points earned by the host team "null and void" and also penalise it on the financial benefit front.

If the host team loses even after preparing pitches not suitable for playing, it should be fined in regard to financial benefit as well as penalise two points, Gavaskar said.

On standardising of ground equipment, Gavaskar said visiting teams should be told by home ones regarding the weight of the rollers, among others.

The committee felt that the four-day Vinoo Mankad Trophy tournament should be converted into One-day championship with a winner from each zone getting berth for the knock-out stage. For the C K Nayudu trophy, Under-19 cricketers should play One-day games at the zonal level, it was stated.

"ICC code of conduct should apply to all the tournaments in India...not just Ranji trophy matches....but also to junior tournaments," Gavaskar said.

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