The Marylebone Cricket Club’s World Cricket Committee said they are not in favour of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar’s suggestion of experimenting with two pitches in domestic cricket to aid in preparing the Indian team for overseas Test matches.
Tendulkar suggested that every Ranji Trophy game should be played on two different pitches to prepare a better Test team for overseas assignments.
“I have thought a lot about neutral venues in Ranji Trophy (which is being experimented this season). I have a suggestion which can be radical. When we go to places like Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa, we play with kookaburra balls which swings early. Think about a young Ranji batsman playing with SG Test in India and then facing difficulty overseas," Tendulkar said at the ‘Hindustan Times Leadership Summit’ last week.
"Let us have the first innings on a green top with kookaburra balls which would give openers a challenge. Even bowlers will have something. Our spinners will also learn how to bowl with kookaburra on Green tops," he explained.
However, former England captain Mike Brearley, chairman of the MCC World Cricket Commiteee, claimed it would be going ‘too far’ by using a domestic match as a practice game for international cricket.
“We talked about that too and we talked about the conflict between using first-class matches as training and on the other hand, the fact that they are proper games of cricket in a proper competition, proper feeling that you are in a real match. Those two things can be in conflict. I personally think the committee would have probably said the same that we felt that went too far in turning first-class cricket into turning mere practice for international cricket,” Brearley said after the MCC World Cricket Committee meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Former Pakistan batsman Ramiz Raja, also part of the MCC World Cricket Committee, pointed that out carrying out such experiments would lessen the importance of first class matches.
“It was discussed and there was an example given by Rod Marsh that a bowler bowled in the first innings of a first-class match (in Australia) and he was taken out of the game for international cricket. Another player came in and bowled in his place. These should be competitive matches.
“First-class cricket is about playing competitive, challenging yourself. It (playing on two pitches) will be like lessening the importance of first-class cricket. That is what the committee felt,” Raja said.