The Board of Control for Cricket in India captains and coaches’ conclave on Tuesday, to be attended by captains, coaches of 27 Ranji Trophy teams figuring in the 2012-13 season, will lead to exchange of ideas on cricket-related issues and about first-class cricket.
Mumbai won the 40th Ranji title. Rest of India regained the 2013 Irani Trophy, played for the first time after the Ranji final as a new experiment.
Two former India Test stalwarts, Kiran More and Praveen Amre, expressed views on the domestic season and suggested points to make the interaction with captains and coaches more meaningful. “Changes recommended in first-class cricket were on the right lines and results will take time,” said More, in a chat with The Hindu.
Regarding the switch in Ranji Trophy format from Elite and Plate group to three groups of nine teams each, he felt the concept was a developmental process.
“The idea is to give weaker sides a chance to compete against stronger teams. Assam beating Mumbai in Vijay Hazare Trophy shows that some teams can benefit from opportunities.”
Asked to explain the approach of strong teams to remain satisfied with first innings lead instead of pushing for outright victory worth six points, he felt pitches were responsible.
“Ranji matches were high-scoring in the first innings due to the way wickets behaved at certain venues. It makes sense to conserve bowlers’ energy for matches on more responsive tracks.”
More, former selection panel chairman, said the quality of cricket should get better, so that we could get more players for the national talent pool.
“India needs quality leg-spinners to add bite and variety into the attack. I feel domestic cricket should be able to give us players of this type.”
Former Mumbai Ranji coach, Amre, highlighted two steps taken last year as positive decisions, i.e. extending incomplete Ranji knockout ties hit by rain to the sixth day and playing Irani Trophy soon after the Ranji final.
“Mumbai benefited from the rule change against Services in the rain-marred semifinal. The final was wrapped up in three days and Mumbai got the 40th title.”
He appreciated the decision to play the Irani Trophy just after the Ranji final.
“Earlier when the Irani tie was played, key players were not available and that is the reason State teams did not do well.
“This time with Sachin Tendulkar playing a masterly 140 not out and Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Abhishek Nayar present, Mumbai could have done better. The outcome was an opportunity lost,” said Amre. Rest of India won the Irani Trophy on the first innings lead over Mumbai.
He felt the gap between two Ranji ties was worth reconsidering, keeping in mind recovery time for fast bowlers.
“The schedule was tough, especially on fast bowlers in strong teams which went all the way. The captains and coaches can give a serious thought to scheduling.”