Ranji Trophy 2018-19: BCCI to continue with neutral curators

While Ranji Trophy was reverted to the traditional home and away format in 2017, the BCCI introduced the neutral curator concept in order to stop home teams from preparing “designer pitches”.

The other big reason is that neutral curators “can’t be pressurised” by host associations. (Representational Image)   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Encouraged by the positive feedback during the 2017-18 domestic season, the BCCI will continue with neutral curators in the upcoming 2018-19 Ranji Trophy, a move that also scuttled the home state associations’ habit of preparing pitches as per their wishes.

The matter came up for discussion during the two-day annual Curators’ conclave, which concluded in Mumbai on Wednesday. While Ranji Trophy was reverted to the traditional home and away format in 2017, the BCCI introduced the neutral curator concept in order to stop home teams from preparing “designer pitches”.

“We got a very positive feedback from all the curators this time about the neutral curator concept. There hasn’t been any significant adverse report from the match referees with regards to poor or sub-standard pitches. So, it was decided that neutral curators will continue for the upcoming domestic season also,” a senior BCCI official said on the condition of anonymity.

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The other big reason is that neutral curators “can’t be pressurised” by host associations. “The tendency of the host associations to coerce the local curators into preparing designer tracks is a thing of past now. The feedback we got is that the neutral curators were adept enough to stave off any kind of pressure that is put on them. Also, if the local groundsmen are under pressure to suppose prepare a rank turner, he can always complain to the neutral curator,” the official said.

There was extensive discussion on how upgraded technology can be used for having better drainage facilities across all the stadiums in the country.

“Chinnaswamy Stadium has the best drainage facility among the stadiums. We are expecting that all the major international venues will have the same kind of drainage facility. The concept of sub-soil drainage was also discussed,” he informed.

The team of BCCI curators was also praised for its work in the Indian Premier League. “The standard of pitches during the last IPL was very good and the curators were praised for their work. The list of neutral curators will soon be released after the next round of meetings,” he said.