ACA felt that staging Ranji and junior tournaments simultaneously by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was proving detrimental to players.
Young G. Chiranjeevi, when he made a hundred on debut last season for the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) in Ranji Trophy, was keen on cementing his position in the team, but this season, he failed to play even one match - reason - he was busy serving the Andhra Under-25 team.
Precocious players like M. Ajay Kumar (medium pacer) and M.U.B. Sriram (opener) were also preoccupied with their under-25 commitments. While Sriram and K.S. Bharat (wicket keeper) made their debut, Ajay Kumar was made to wait in the wings - for next season.
Andhra Cricket Association director and former Indian International M.S.K.Prasad felt that staging Ranji and junior tournaments simultaneously by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was proving detrimental to players.
“Good players fail to represent Ranji Trophy. It is time the BCCI prepared the domestic itinerary in such a way that the tournaments do not clash,” felt Mr. Prasad. Mr. Prasad wants to bring this issue to the notice of the BCCI technical committee. Many in the ACA felt that bench strength of junior teams should be improved to enable the youngsters to concentrate on Ranji Trophy. “We need young legs for Ranji Trophy. Many seniors are taking their places for granted and we should groom more number of promising junior players. The seniors should realise that they are not indispensable,” felt Koka Ramesh, manager of the Andhra Ranji team. Mr. M.S.K. Prasad said that the regional academies coming up at Mangalagiri, Kadapa and Vizianagaram were aimed at producing quality players. “The academies would start functioning from June. We have already started the talent hunt in the districts,” said Mr. Prasad.
Fitness of players was another area of concern for the ACA. In the crucial match against Kerala, off spinner Sk. Md. Basha could not bowl owing to stiff neck and medium pacer Vijay Kumar could not play against Services owing to back pain. Their absence proved costly for the team.