Cricket

2019-20 domestic season | Duleep Trophy back to red-ball format for league games

Action from last year's Duleep Trophy with the pink ball

Action from last year's Duleep Trophy with the pink ball   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

Pink-ball cricket was the only saving grace for the Duleep Trophy, a tournament that’s been struggling for relevance in the recent past. Come next week and the season-opening fixture that was once virtually considered to be a selection trial for India’s Test squad will revert to red-ball cricket.

The tournament, to be played in Bengaluru from August 17 to September 8, will revert to the traditional format after experimenting with pink-ball cricket under floodlights for the last three editions.

Considering the Indian team’s opposition to playing a pink-ball Test — even overseas, let alone at home — it is understandable that the BCCI has halted the experiment for the Duleep Trophy. 

Logistical challenges

However, Saba Karim, the BCCI general manager - cricket operations, preferred to focus on the logistical challenges, including lack of broadcast of matches except for the final as the primary reason than India’s reluctance to playing a floodlit Test. 

“We were finding it very difficult to get a venue. Only a couple of days back were we able to finalise it. That is why only the final will now be telecast. It does not make sense to play the tournament with the pink ball,” Karim said. 

“Last year, because we were able to get a confirmation on the venue a month in advance, we could prepare with the pink ball. But this time around, it was a challenge to find a suitable venue. Finally, it was KSCA which was helpful with it.”

The leaders

Promising batsman Shubman Gill, Vidarbha’s successive Ranji Trophy-winning captain Faiz Fazal and Gujarat captain Priyank Panchal will lead India Blue, India Green and India Red in the tournament. The national selection panel, headed by M.S.K. Prasad, announced the squads on Tuesday.

Interestingly, the tournament will not feature a single Tamil Nadu player despite 44 top performers in domestic cricket being divided in three teams.

Squads:

India Blue: Shubman Gill (captain), Ruturaj Gailwad, Rajat Patidar, Anmolpreet Singh, Ricky Bhui, Ankeet Bawne, Snell Patel (wk), Shreyas Gopal, Saurabh Kumar, Jalaj Saxena, Tushar Deshpande, Basil Thampi, Diwesh Pathania, Aniket Choudhary, Ashutosh Amar.

India Green: Faiz Fazal (captain), Akshath Reddy, Dhruv Shorey, Priyam Garg, Siddesh Lad, Akshdeep Nath, Rahul Chahar, Dharmendra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot, Ishan Porel, Tanveer ul Haq, Akshay Wadkar (wk), Rajesh Mohanty, Milind Kumar.

India Red: Priyank Panchal (captain), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Axar Patel, Karun Nair, Ishan Kishan (wk), Harpreet Bhatia, Aditya Sarwate, Mahipal Lomror, Akshay Wakhare, Varun Aaron, Ronit More, Jaydev Unadkat, Sandeep Warrier, Ankit Kalsi.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 10:53:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/2019-20-domestic-season-duleep-trophy-back-to-red-ball-format-for-league-games/article28837370.ece

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