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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Aakash Chopra for sweeping changes in domestic structure

Aakash Chopra for sweeping changes in domestic structure

February 17, 2012 18:30 IST

Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that the "meaningless" tournaments like Duleep and Deodhar trophies should be done away with to improve the domestic cricket structure of the country.

Chopra, who is a key member of the Ranji Trophy champions Rajasthan, also advocated the need to introduce points for batting and bowling as is the case in England, in place of teams getting three points for securing the first-innings lead in drawn games.

"The domestic calendar needs to be reworked...do away with meaningless tournaments so as to make it less crowded. A couple of tournaments may have to be done away with like Duleep, Deodhar and Syed Mushtaq Ali trophies. They all are not serving any purposes.

"These three tournaments can actually make way for Ranji trophy to become a slightly longer tournament. Vijay Hazare one-day tournament to become slightly longer. We already have a Twenty20 tournament, IPL, then why we need two domestic T20 tournaments," Chopra said.

"The first innings lead points lead to mediocrity. We need to do away with that. It should not have a huge impact towards the end of the season," he added.

Chopra, who was asked by the BCCI's technical committee chaired by former India captain Sourav Ganguly to send in his suggestions and recommendations to improve the domestic structure, also said that the quality of pitches and playing the Ranji Trophy league matches at neutral venues should be considered upon seriously.

"Though I am not a huge fan of this but I know from where the BCCI is coming from. BCCI has entrusted the state associations to come up with sporting wickets but that hasn't happened. It's the state associations who have not taken the responsibility of producing good surfaces," said the veteran domestic cricketer.

"I think that's a radical step but it's the need of the hour. If you want to change something may be that's the way. It will be like taking away the home advantage or will make the cricketers travel throughout the season because every game is an away game.

"If you look at our Ranji Trophy final against Tamil Nadu in Chennai, I don't think it was the best pitch available or the best pitch on which the Ranji trophy finals should be played. We need sporting wickets. We want the bowlers to have a say and it's not just batsmen dominating the crease," Chopra further added.

Aakash ChopraHe said the grounds and pitches committee of each state in the country must be made accountable if they don't come up with sporting tracks and favour their own conditions.

Chopra also said that it would be nice if the number of teams participating in the Ranji trophy (including Elite and Plate groups) should be brought down from the existing 27 to 12.

"It's a very ambitious step...it would be nice if we have fewer teams. Fewer teams means quality of cricket going up," he said.

Asked about senior national side's disastrous outings in England and Australia this summer, Chopra said, "It was a collective failure. We expected our players to do well as per their reputations. They have done that in the past but this time they did not click.

"It was a collective failure right from number one guy to number seven. Nobody scored the runs so obviously team is going to struggle," he added.

BCCI's Recommendations 

Meanwhile the Technical Committee and Senior Tournament Committee of the BCCI met at the Cricket Centre earlier and made the following recommendations.

A. The number of short-pitched deliveries permitted per over in domestic one-day tournaments to be increased from one to two. This will come into force in the inter-state one-day matches, starting 20 February 2012.

B. The Ranji Trophy quarter-finals and semi-finals will be five-day games.

C. The Ranji Trophy points system shall be as follows:

Outright win: 5 pts

First innings lead but no outright win: 3 pts

Loss on first innings: 1 pt

Washout/weather interference with no first innings result: 1 pt each

Innings win/win by ten wickets: 1 bonus pt

Tie on first innings without outright result: 1 pt each

Tie on both innings: 2 pts each

D. If a domestic match is played on a wicket that is 'under prepared' in the opinion of the match officials, then two points will be deducted from the host association's tally for the season.

E. Floodlights will be used during Test matches, if required, wherever the facility exists. 

F. The use of Kookaburra balls to be continued in the Duleep Trophy.

G. The senior domestic season to be rescheduled, and the tournaments to be played in the following order:

Challenger Series for the NKP Salve Trophy

Duleep Trophy

Ranji Trophy

Irani Cup – Ranji champions vs Rest of India

One-day tournaments: Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy

Domestic T20

H. The present Ranji Trophy format was discussed at length, and it was felt that the 'Elite-Plate' format be continued.

The recommendations made by the Technical Committee will have to be ratified by the Working Committee of the Board.

The Senior Tournament Committee discussed the adverse reports received by the Board with regard to poor pitch conditions in the Ranji Trophy.

The Committee had summoned representatives of the Hyderabad Cricket Association and the Railways Sport Promotion Board on the basis of reports submitted by match referees.

After considering the reports and giving a hearing to the representatives of the concerned associations, the following recommendations were made:

A. The Hyderabad CA was let off, after being warned that such an incident should not be repeated.

B. The RSPB will not be able to host any BCCI match at the Karnail Singh Stadium, in the 2012-13 season. However, the association can suggest alternate venues for its home games. Matches could be played at the alternate venues, subject to the BCCI's approval.

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