Red-ball cricket | Cricket

‘Lack of red-ball cricket hampering players’ skills’: Unadkat

All too different: Unadkat says when the Saurashtra team started practising, it felt like a whole new game.

All too different: Unadkat says when the Saurashtra team started practising, it felt like a whole new game.

Saurashtra skipper Jaydev Unadkat feels the players’ skills against the red ball have started diminishing and potential cancellation of a second consecutive Ranji Trophy season will be a “great loss” for domestic cricket in India.

After the COVID-19-forced cancellation of Ranji Trophy last year, a first in the tournament’s rich history, the postponement of the current season due to the third wave of the pandemic has left many players worried.

The premier tournament was supposed to begin on Jan. 13 and lead pacer Unadkat and the rest of the Saurashtra players had started their preparations to defend the maiden title they won back in March 2020.

‘Players’ skills are being hampered. Two years in a row would be a great loss. One year itself was a great loss. When we started our pre-season camp before the eventual postponement, it felt like a whole new game,” Unadkat said.

“Leaving the ball, bowling with pace and bowling long spells. All that had gone out of the picture. It is going to be difficult for sure if it doesn’t happen this year too.

“I hear that BCCI is keen on staging it. If the virus situation doesn’t become threatening, we can have it in February with a stricter bubble and more vigilance,” said the left-arm pacer who picked a record 67 wickets in a memorable 2020 season.

If February is not possible, then the BCCI must start the next season with Ranji Trophy, feels the pacer who has played one Test, seven ODIs and 10 T20Is for India.

Enormous task

The seasoned cricketer also understands that the BCCI has an enormous task at hand in staging a 38-team event amid the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“It is disappointing but I feel this was bound to happen considering the COVID situation and the right decision taken was taken. Hopefully things get better and we can play at least half of it or the league stage before the IPL,” he said.


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 1:05:39 am | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/lack-of-red-ball-cricket-hampering-players-skills-unadkat/article38326496.ece