Mumbai: The Vijay Hazare Trophy one day matches could be played in similar format as the Ranji Trophy, consisting of three divisions, from next season if the BCCI accepts the proposal it received on day at the one-day conclave of captains and coaches held here.
"They (Ranji captains and coaches) were keen for the one day matches to be played in the Ranji Trophy format. But its tough. Right now it is zonal and they want how the Ranji Trophy is played...like crisscrossing (the country). It's tough logistically," said BCCI's technical committee chairman Anil Kumble after the annual one-day meeting.
The technical committee did an overhaul of the Ranji Trophy format at the end of last season by abolishing elite and plate divisions and bringing in a three-tier system, featuring all teams from this season. But the one-day matches are being held under the elite and plate division format.
Kumble said the general consensus was that the newly introduced format for Ranji Trophy is good but most of the teams wanted a longer gap in between the matches. "They want a longer break in between two games, which will extend the season. They want a four-day gap (instead of the three-day one at present). It is the preferred option. But then we will have to look at a combination where some matches have three-day gaps and some have four days," said Kumble.
Some teams also requested for a neutral venue during the knockout stages of Ranji Trophy, said the former India captain, adding that the technical committee would discuss these suggestions when it meets in a couple of weeks' time. Mumbai coach Sulakshan Kulkarni said he did not agree with the suggestion of playing Ranji games at neutral venues, pointing out that Sachin Tendulkar had opposed it in 2009.
Bengal team coach W V Raman agreed and said, "They mooted that. I don't think it will make any difference, honestly. If you are a side that is good enough to get into the later part of the tournament, you should be able to adapt to all conditions."
The former Test opener further said he had suggested playing the knockout stage of the one-day games under lights. "I suggested that the one-day knockouts at least should be played on day-night basis. We have seen it the last few years that things swing highly in favour of the team winning the toss," said Raman. "Even in the recent edition, most of the matches were in favour of the team winning the toss and opting to bowl first.
Primarily the reason is that the matches start at 9 am. "There is also a logistical problem of not many venues having two good grounds. It will be good if the guys play under the lights and get used to it, in case they scale the ladder," he added. Raman was also of the view that the captain and coach of the visiting team should be allowed to assess the pitch instead of the prevailing norm of the match referee giving the report.
Hyderabad coach Sunil Joshi said one of the suggestions was to give an additional point to the team that imposes follow on, as it would encourage more outright victories. However, both Kulkarni and Raman rejected this saying it should come from within (the team) to win the matches.
"It has to come from the team to want to play to win. Rules cannot be framed in such a manner. If the basic attitude doesn't prevail it doesn't matter. A side's mindset has to be different," Raman said. Kulkarni said the current format was good but there was a need to make the game a bit more interesting.
"We can make it interesting. Like 15-20 years back we used to play 90 and 40 overs, 90 overs in the first innings and 40 in second. Now if we have four-day matches then we can do so. You then have 360 overs (90 overs per day) split into 125 in the first innings and 55 in the second," he said.
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