Neutral venues concept receives opposition from Ranji coaches, captains

| Updated: May 24, 2017 06:55 IST

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 24 (ANI): The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) season-old concept of playing Ranji Trophy matches at neutral venues received opposition from the majority of those present during the 'Captains and Coaches' meeting held at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai. Among the topics discussed during the two-hour long meet were the current model of playing Ranji Trophy at neutral venues, providing cricket pitches which enable competitive cricket and monitoring of the same by central curators of the BCCI. BCCI acting president CK Khanna, secretary Amitabh Choudhary and CoA officials Diana Edulji and Ramachandra Guha were present at the meeting. "It was a good brainstorming session with all the captains and coaches of our Ranji Trophy teams. We had a lengthy session with each speaking about the issues concerning domestic cricket and initiatives that need to be taken up, so that the competitive spirit among players is enhanced to a higher level. We have taken a note of their suggestions and these will be presented to the BCCI Technical Committee," a press release from BCCI quoted Choudhary as saying. However, talking to the media after the meet, the BCCI secretary clarified that there were a few who supported the neutral-venues concept, too, which was introduced just before the 2016-17 season. "There were views supporting both the formats," he said. "Instead of making a calculation of how many people were on which side, what was done was that points made to substantiate a certain position on either of the two formats have been collated. They will be brought to the technical committee and then put before the general body which will take a call," he added. The BCCI secretary also stated that the meeting covered "every" aspect of the 50-overs Vijay Hazare Trophy, the 20-overs Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and junior tournaments too. As per ESPNcricinfo, one of the reasons players wanted to go back to the home-and-away concept was to avoid travel fatigue as there were only three days between matches. Ranji players and coaches had last season also stressed on the importance of continuity of playing on home grounds, and complained about logistics problems while playing at neutral venues, such as lack of proper training pitches and net bowlers. "It was a fruitful session with the leaders of our domestic circuit and we recognise that together, we will strive towards making domestic cricket, more competitive and relevant," C.K. Khanna, BCCI acting president was quoted as saying by the BCCI press release. Among other important topics discussed at the conclave was pay hikes and contracts for domestic players, as suggested by veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh in his recent letter to India coach Anil Kumble. In a heartfelt letter, the 'Turbonator' had pointed out the financial situation of the Ranji players and highlighted the player's struggle to make a living out of the sport. He stated that the payment structure of the players has not been changed since 2004. (ANI)

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