The Hyderabad Cricket Association's gamble of fielding former India left-arm spinner S.L.Venkatapathi Raju as its representative at the crucial BCCI meeting in Mumbai on Friday to debate the pitch prepared for the Maharashtra-Hyderabad Ranji game last November paid off, thanks to his ability to put his views across without any fuss.

Mere warning

Consequently, HCA got off with a mere warning and not slapped a ban as was the case with Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi which was barred from hosting any of the Railways' home games next season.

It may be recalled here that BCCI panel has summoned HCA to explain the reason for the four-day match getting over in two days, which also saw Hyderabad bundle out for 54 in the second innings at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in the city.

To his delight, Raju was at ease thanks to the support lent by former India captain and now chairman of senior national selection panel, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who was also present

“We explained to the BCCI that there was nothing abnormal about the pitch and it was nothing but bad batting. And, it was Hyderabad which batted poorly and no batsman got injured,” Raju informed The Hindu on his return from Mumbai.

“One-off match of this kind cannot be a reflection on the capability of HCA as a perfect host given the fact that the curator (Y.L.Chandrasekhar) was widely appreciated for producing the best wicket for the Indian Premier League and the CL T-20 matches at the same venue,” was the HCA argument.

Heavy rains

“The problem for the specific Maharashtra game was there were heavy rains, which gave little time for pitch preparation. This was also well supported by the Tamil Nadu representative at the meeting,” it was disclosed.

Veiled instructions

And, at the end of it all, there were veiled instructions that the HCA should avoid a repetition and they might be the subject of the detailed note which the BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale will be sending to the former very soon.

Incidentally, Raju, who is also the member of the BCCI technical panel chaired by former India captain Saurav Ganguly, was all praise for the Bengal star-player of yesteryears.

“He was very cool, composed, had been former skipper. More importantly, he was very practical in every subject that came for discussion,” Raju, who is also HCA vice-president, revealed.

  • HCA asked to explain the reason for four-day match getting over in two days

  • BCCI lets off HCA with a mere warning instead of imposing a ban