Introduction of DRS, dropping coin toss among suggestions made
The introduction of Decision Review system in Ranji Trophy and doing away with the concept of coin toss were among some of the suggestions put forward by the captains and the coaches of the domestic teams during a conclave conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, in Mumbai, on Friday.
DRS has been so far restricted to international cricket but the call to introduce it in domestic structure has grown following poor umpiring decisions in the last Ranji Trophy season, which saw a significant rise in the number of matches with the addition of new teams.
During the conclave, the captains and coaches called for the introduction of DRS with the available technology for televised (television and digital broadcast) Ranji Trophy games.
Multiple umpiring howlers marred the Ranji semifinal between Saurashtra and Karnataka, last season. Key batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was ruled not out despite a huge nick and his century changed the course of the match.
There was also discussion on doing away with the coin toss and letting the visiting team make a decision to bat or bowl first.
The captains and coaches also deliberated over the relevance of Duleep Trophy and the Irani Trophy.
"Indian cricket has spread across the country and we now have teams from the North East competing in the BCCI domestic tournaments. While teams like Mumbai and Karnataka dominated the premier tournaments, the emergence of Vidarbha as champions in the past few seasons have proved we now have a very competitive domestic structure," said BCCI acting president C K Khanna.
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri said, "This is an extremely important forum and I am very happy that we now have a separate conclave to review women's cricket. It is an important stage as key stakeholders of Indian cricket converge under one roof and discuss the way forward."
"I am confident that the upcoming season will be even bigger and better and we will continue to strengthen the standard of the sport across all age groups."
It was also discussed if knockout games of Ranji Trophy should be on home-and-away basis or at neutral venues.
The board's acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry added, "The entire Indian cricket set up stands on the strength of domestic cricket, the players, captains, coaches, the support staff and state associations. Their role is as crucial as those of the players who represent team India.
"We value the feedback of players and coaches and it is duly noted and considered."
On the season gone by, Saba Karim, GM Cricket Operations, said, "The number of matches significantly went up from 1108 games last season to 2024 this season and we efficiently managed this massive jump.
"Ahead of the season, we had extensive discussions with the selectors and coaches particularly in women's cricket and tournament formats were designed accordingly. We now have a busy schedule for women's cricket as well and we are going to have more India A women's tours in the upcoming season."
To improve the standard of the games, suggestions were made regarding the 'introduction of evaluation reports by Match Referees about umpires' and 'evaluation of Match referees by the umpires'.
Issues related to the 'quality of balls' used throughout the season and 'slow over rates' were also discussed and suggestions were sought during the conclave.
For suggestions to become a reality, the approval of the BCCI technical committee and then the ratification by the General Body is required.
As of now there is neither the technical committee nor the General body since an ad-hoc body is running the affairs of the cricket body.
"With the domestic structure now involving 37 teams, a discussion was held on the relevance and significance of Duleep Trophy and the Irani Trophy and opinion on the same was sought," a source who attended the conclave, said.