Captains and coaches conclave to discuss tournament formats

The BCCI has asked the State teams to submit their views on five key issues during the domestic season.

The home-and-away format of the Ranji Trophy will likely not be tampered with.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Ahead of the annual domestic captains and coaches conclave, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has asked the State team think-tanks to submit their views in writing on five key issues during the recently-concluded inter-state season.

The BCCI has asked the captains and coaches of all the 28 first-class cricket teams in India to submit their views by Monday, a day ahead of the conclave, scheduled to be held at a five-star hotel here on Tuesday.

The five points are: home and away format for the Ranji Trophy, four-group format that was tried out the first time in the Ranji Trophy, the format for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the super league format for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the quality of balls used for the red-ball and white-ball tournaments.

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Sportstar understands that virtually all teams will continue to support the home and away format, the conventional system the BCCI reverted to for the 2017-18 season after trying out a neutral-venue policy a season earlier.

While dividing the Ranji Trophy league stage into four groups of seven teams each has made the competition even, some of the team representatives are likely to seek increase in the minimum number of matches assured. For the last few seasons, with each group having at least nine teams, every team was assured of getting eight first-class games every season. With the rejigged format in 2017-18, the number came down to six.

Problems with SG Glace ball

A section of captains and coaches is likely to press for converting the Vijay Hazare Trophy knock-outs into an eight-team super league, similar to the 10-team super league for the Mushtaq Ali Trophy. As far as quality of balls is concerned, while most teams were happy with the usage of SG Test balls in the Ranji Trophy, majority of the teams have expressed their reservations with the SG Glace for white-ball tournaments.

The BCCI uses Kookaburra balls only for the Indian Premier League and international matches whereas all other white-ball games are played with the SG Glace. Since the teams feel the feel of SG balls is “very different” than Kookaburra, a few teams may request the BCCI to consider using Kookaburra even for domestic games.