We can take pride in the flawless execution of the plans, says Karim

BCCI's General Manager, Cricket Operations, Syed Saba Karim says the local and neutral curators ensured that the matches were played on excellent pitches.

As head of the Cricket Operations, former Test wicketkeeper Saba Karim has brought the focus back on quality competition.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The intrigue that marks the qualification race of the Ranji Trophy is the “most satisfying” factor of the revamped domestic cricket as visualised by the Cricket Operations team of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

As Head of the Cricket Operations, former Test wicketkeeper Saba Karim has brought the focus back on quality competition. “It has been a mammoth exercise for us. Barring a few glitches, which we overcame in quick time, we (BCCI) can take pride in the flawless execution of the plans, including the debut of six teams from the North-East,” said Karim as he reflected on the hectic schedule that he had to endure in the past three months.

Logistic challenges

From eight new teams, adding to the 29 with past experience, the Ranji Trophy presented gigantic logistic challenges. “We reverted to home-and-away system which was much needed. To put in place travel of the teams, scheduling of the games, appointment of match officials, we accomplished it all without any flaw. We showed out ability to handle such a big exercise,” noted Karim.

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From eight new teams, adding to the 29 with past experience, the Ranji Trophy presented gigantic logistic challenges.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

 

A total of 70 match referees, 115 umpires, 149 scorers and 185 video analysts have been on the job.

The Cricket Operations team maintained uniformity of the schedule in all age groups. “We made the under-19 and under-23 teams understand the dynamics of the senior format. We drew our strength from the encouraging feedbacks. The best part was that the local and neutral curators ensured that the matches were played on excellent pitches.

“There has not been any complaint about the playing surfaces this season. Putting the infrastructure in place is one thing but executing it successfully is another. It has been a memorable exercise this far,” Karim observed.

Evaluation of officials

Among the new features was the evaluation of umpires and match referees. “We have a portal where the match referees and umpires assess each other. There is another portal where the umpires and match referees log their views on talented players for the benefit of the national selectors, who have exclusive access to the portal. Every registered player is assessed in this portal and it bodes well for the future administration of the game,” asserted Karim.

Uttarakhand coach K.P. Bhaskar said, “It has been a superb season of domestic cricket. The pitches have been very sporting and the overall mood among the teams is to give their best. The players are now confident of playing on any surface and beat any team.”

For Himachal Pradesh coach Vikram Rathour, the season has been full of excitement. “Till the last round, we don’t know which teams will quality. But I would have loved eight teams (3+3+2) from the the first three groups. The Plate group should have been only to push one team to Group C and then compete to qualify.”