State associations seek clarity from BCCI on Ranji Trophy

A couple of powerful state units are likely to write a letter in the next couple of days in an attempt to give a ray of hope for domestic cricketers.

A still from the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 final between Saurashtra and Bengal in Rajkot.   -  VIJAY SONEJI

Multiple associations have informally reached out to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) office-bearers as a possible pressure tactic for staging the Ranji Trophy.

Ever since Sportstar reported on January 20 that the BCCI was set to cancel Ranji Trophy for the second successive season, dozens of domestic cricketers have reached out to their respective associations requesting them to take a stand for them.

As a result, the state association officials have made phone calls to the BCCI hierarchy to seek clarity.

So far, no association has formally written to the BCCI. A couple of powerful state units are likely to write a letter in the next couple of days in an attempt to give a ray of hope for domestic cricketers.

READ| Ranji Trophy set to be cancelled for second successive season

When asked for a comment, none of the associations was willing to speak to the media. “The sense that most of us have got is none of the BCCI office-bearers is committing to hosting the tournament. It’s the most important tournament in Indian domestic cricket but so far I doubt if they have thought of any concrete alternate plan,” a state association secretary said, preferring anonymity.

The BCCI officials had a meeting with the Indian Premier League franchises on Saturday. Secretary Jay Shah issued a statement detailing how the Board is trying its best to host the IPL in India. “It’s sad, but all that the BCCI seems to be focused on is the IPL. While we are witnessing four IPLs, including a split edition in two countries, in 18 months, no one seems to be bothered about Ranji Trophy,” said a seasoned domestic cricketer.

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“Just imagine, not only will our careers be over, but even our households will continue to suffer drastically with Ranji not happening for two years in a row.”

This publication learnt that a BCCI office-bearer recently reached out to a former Board bigwig to seek advice on how to handle “bad press” but could not present options for organising the tournament.

The Ranji Trophy was cancelled last season due to the pandemic. It was the first time since its inception in 1934-35 that the BCCI failed to conduct the tournament. 

The tournament was supposed to return on January 13, but the third wave of the pandemic postponed it further.

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