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BCCI forms committee to review domestic scheduling

Weather-affected Ranji matches, lack of space between games and excess competitions under discussion

The BCCI Apex Council in its meeting on Monday formed a four-member committee comprising head coach Rahul Dravid, NCA director VVS Laxman, Chief selector Ajit Agarkar and General Manager Abey Kuruvilla to suggest improvements in India’s domestic cricket.

The BCCI formed a committee to suggest improvements in domestic cricket.(HT Photo)

Other than the recently concluded Ranji Trophy being heavily weather affected, particularly in the North and Eastern belt during the winter months, the committee will also have the issue of cramped domestic calendar raised by Indian pacer Shardul Thakur to look at. The Mumbai player had pointed out that Ranji Trophy matches being spaced out only by three days was one reason behind injuries.

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“The knockouts had five days in between. Now we have seen that all matches are played with three days’ gap, so it is extremely tough for the domestic players. To expect them to play 10 games in a row with just three days’ gap if the team reaches the final. I think next year they will have to have a relook at it and give more breaks. The schedule is becoming tighter and tighter. If the boys keep playing like this for two more seasons there will be a lot of injuries across the country,” Thakur had said.

This point of view was seconded by Dravid after the conclusion of the India-England Test series.

“I saw some of the comments Shardul, I think, made. And in fact, some of the boys who’ve come into the team as well, also comment about how tough the domestic schedule is, especially in a country like India with the amount of travel involved. So, we need to hear the players. That’s a very important thing in a lot of these things,” Dravid said.

“You need to hear your players, because they are the ones going through the grind and putting their bodies on the line, and if there are enough voices saying that, then yeah, I think there’s some need to look at it, and see how we can manage our schedules.”

One of the solutions Dravid suggested was to cut down the number of tournaments being played across formats domestically.

“Maybe we need to re-look and see whether some of the tournaments that we are conducting are necessary in this day and age or if they are not necessary. There needs to be an all-round review [involving] coaches and players, especially the guys who are part of the domestic circuit,” Dravid said.


It is learnt, the two tournaments that could be reviewed are the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy. Both 50-overs competitions, some believe have become excess to requirements, particularly in years that lead up to a T20 World Cup which is now staged biannually.

The decision to do away with any of the tournaments may not be easy, however, with them being named after legendary cricketers.

The 50-over Challenger trophy which was played between India Blue, Green and Red has now been discontinued.

The recently-concluded domestic season had kicked off with the Duleep Trophy and Deodhar from June end to start of August. After a monsoon break, there was non-stop domestic cricket starting with the Irani Trophy, Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20s and Vijay Hazare Trophy between October to mid-December. Following this, the Ranji Trophy was played over the ten weeks that followed.

In between, there were A tours too, which took away a lot of the talent, leaving the playing pool in some of the domestic tournaments depleted.


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