Domestic cricket is the backbone of India’s future, writes Makarand Waingankar
While we are busy correcting mistakes of bigwigs, the domestic cricketing mechanism is crumbling within. A horde of cricketing issues needs to be addressed before the next season begins.
Domestic cricket in India is plagued by malfunctioning. Doctored pitches are a key in producing mediocre cricketers. BCCI has zonal curators but teams manage to indulge in manipulation.
An experienced curator, Daljit Singh has initiated a coaching course for curators at the behest of Ratnakar Shetty, GM- Game Development.
The aim was to streamline the preparation of pitches so that there is uniformity in pitches. But manipulation continues like ever before.
This is especially seen in teams that are struggling to make the knock-out rounds. Such a practice of manipulation of pitches in domestic matches is shameful for us as a country. It has to be dealt with strictly and associations have to be penalised. Recently, a match against Vidarbha was stopped when the match referee called the pitch dangerous. The game was restarted after rolling the pitch again but by then, Vidarbha had lost half its side already.Need revamp
The State selection committees also need a serious revamp for the sake of quality in domestic cricket. A BCCI match referee needs to have played a minimum of 25 first class matches but there is no eligibility criteria for appointment of a State selector. The selectors of some elite associations have hardly played first class matches.
Even if there is a Test player in the selection committee, often non-Test players are appointed as chairmen.
Consider the Mumbai Cricket Association. The MCA bagged the Best Association award for winning all BCCI tournaments last season except the under-19. However, this season, the same association is struggling in the Ranji Trophy.
Mumbai has produced around 70 Test players but out of the four selection panels of the MCA which has 16 selectors including Paras Mhambrey, there exists only one selector who has been a Test player.
The crucial under 14, 16 and 19 selection panels are chaired by gentlemen who never played for Mumbai.
Many deserving players never get a look in. Had Mohammed Shami continued to try his luck with his State of origin UP, he wouldn’t have played for the country. A couple of decades ago, Narendra Hirwani of Gorkahpur got rejected at the UP junior selection trial, he went to Indore and later went on to play for India.
If there is a pre-requisite for the appointment of match referees and the technical committees of the BCCI, why can’t the BCCI has it for State selectors?Rule for selectors
The rule should be of appointing selectors who have played a minimum of 25 Ranji Trophy matches and preference must be given to Test players. Also, when available, only Test players should be appointed chairman of the under-19, under-25 and Ranji teams.
Each selector should be handsomely paid, yes, but the selectors should be genuine.
Domestic cricket is the backbone of India’s cricketing future. We can hope for laurels at the international level, but if we fail to solve the problems in the domestic system, we will be foolishly nurturing a system full of empty promises.