TNCA to lodge protest over rescheduling of Bengal-Gujarat match

TNCA plans to write a letter to the BCCI about what, it feels, is an "unfair" move to re-play the game.

“Last season Tamil Nadu suffered because of rain, particularly in home matches. For all those games, we got only one point. It hurt our chances of qualification.", said Viswanathan.   -  B. Jothi Ramalingam

Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is extremely unhappy over the rescheduling of the Bengal-Gujarat match after all the other teams of Group ‘A’ would have completed their league engagements in this season's Ranji Trophy.

“It is unfair and it gives a big advantage to Bengal and Gujarat in their quest for entering the last eight stage. They will know exactly what they have to do,” said Tamil Nadu Cricket Association secretary K.S. Viswanathan to Sportstar here on Sunday.

The second-placed Tamil Nadu, which has 23 points from seven games, plays its last league game against Gujarat from December 7. Gujarat and Bengal have 21 and 16 points from five matches each. Mumbai leads the group with 26 points from six matches. The top three teams progress to the quarterfinals.

The issue began when the Bengal-Gujarat clash in New Delhi from November 5 to 8 finished without a ball being bowled because of smog. That contest has now been rescheduled from December 15 in Visakhapatnam; the seven other teams in the group would have concluded their matches long before this game gets underway.

According to Ranji rules, if the first innings is incomplete because of inclement weather or otherwise, both teams get one point each. So Tamil Nadu argues Bengal and Gujarat should have shared two points.

Vishwanthan said, “Last season Tamil Nadu suffered because of rain, particularly in home matches. For all those games, we got only one point. It hurt our chances of qualification. Tell me, how is smog different from rain when it comes to interrupting or abandoning a match. The TNCA believes both Bengal and Gujarat should have got a point each from that match.”

However, that clash has been rescheduled, and TNCA plans to write a letter to the BCCI about what, it feels, is an “unfair” move to re-play the game. The TNCA is also likely to lodge an official protest soon. The idea of all teams beginning their last league fixtures on the same day is because no two teams should be in a position to manipulate the course of their matches after knowing the results of the other games.

The Tamil Nadu cricketers too are unhappy with the sequence of events. One senior player said, “Last year we suffered because of rain, got just a point from rain-affected matches. Now tell me what is the difference between rain and smog?”

The issue threatens to get bigger as the competitive Group ‘A’ enters climactic phase.