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Sight Screen

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The other way around

From Sportstar, this story (wonder whether this received any media play at all -- if so, I must have missed it) about a captains' conclave to discuss improvements to the domestic format.
One opinion that had majority backing was that the Duleep Trophy should be played before the Ranji Trophy starts, rather than the other way round as is the practice now. The logic behind this particular suggestion was to give the top 75 players from five zones an opportunity to perform in order to be in contention for a place in the Indian side. A very good argument, and it was accepted by the BCCI, but people who chose not to attend the conclave despite being invited to do so made a hue and cry about the `outrageousness' of the Duleep Trophy being played before the Ranji Trophy.

And furthering the argument, this:
By playing Duleep Trophy before Ranji Trophy, the BCCI is `diluting' the importance of the Ranji Trophy, felt these critics.
I have not been able to understand this `diluting' business. How does performance in the Duleep Trophy played after Ranji Trophy in February help a player get into the Indian team? Apart from England, all the other countries have an off-season. The player's form during the season is a total waste if it can't get him closer to the national dressing room. Almost 405 players from 27 associations (15 players x 27 associations) participate in the Ranji Trophy and the zonal selectors are expected to pick top 75 players out of these for the five zonal teams.
This system's big advantage to selectors and the coach of the national team is that these 75 players get a chance to perform so that some of them could be considered for international series played between November and March. The most hypocritical comment came from the West Zone captain Sairaj Bahutule who said that if the Duleep Trophy is played before the Ranji Trophy, players won't feel motivated to play Ranji matches.

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