The current three-tier format for the Ranji Trophy got the thumbs up from all coaches and captains, even as a majority of them suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India reviews the scheduling of the country’s premier domestic tournament.
“We received a positive feedback. Everyone expressed happiness over the new format. There was consensus over the format. It is pretty good.
"There were some suggestions to have more gap between matches,” said BCCI’s technical committee chairman Anil Kumble, a special invitee to the Ranji Trophy captains and coaches conclave, in Mumbai, on Tuesday.
The three-tier format was introduced last season. It saw teams being divided into three Groups -- A, B and C -- whereas in previous seasons two groups were categorized as Elite and Plate divisions.
Last season, Services and Jharkhand were the two teams that made it to the last eight from Group C, and all the captains and coaches agreed that the current format is a positive development and big motivation for smaller associations to look after their teams well.
While the new format meant that the number of matches increased from previous seasons, all the teams advocated a bigger gap between fixtures.
Kumble felt the demand is justified, but opined that having a gap of four days between matches would mean that the tournament would take longer to finish, and other tournaments, like the Duleep Trophy, Irani Cup and Vijay Hazare Trophy, would also get affected.
“We could have some matches with three days in between while others could have four days’ gap in between. We will have to see how it works,” he said.
One of the coaches at the conclave said it is very difficult when teams have to travel from one corner of the country to another with just three days’ gap between the games.
“A team from the South -- if they have to play a match in Valsad -- they have to take two flights and even then they can get only to Surat from where they have to take another long journey by road. So, by the time you reach Valsad, you hardly have time to have a look at the wicket and prepare and plan accordingly. This is something that needs to be looked at,” he said.
Kumble added that all suggestions would be taken into account and presented before the technical committee, which will meet later this month. If the changes are accepted by the technical committee, it will then be put forward to the BCCI Working Committee for final approval.
Other suggestions at the conclave included having the Vijay Hazare Trophy, which is the national One-Day tournament in the lines of the Ranji Trophy, with teams being divided into three groups instead of the current zonal system where the teams from each zone play against each other and the best team from each zone making it to for the national round.
“Some of them suggested the one-day tournament should also be held similar to the Ranji Trophy. But it will be a logistical nightmare,” Kumble said.
The former India spinner said that the majority of teams were happy with the standard of umpiring this season.
“Everyone went by their own experiences and then made their own suggestions. The teams who were affected expressed their concerns. But the overall standards of umpiring have improved,” he said.