The CoA approved BCCI domestic schedule for the 2018-19 season has not been well received by everyone on the board. Both the technical committee as well as the tours and fixtures committee have shown a red flag to the schedule drawn by GM Cricket Operations Saba Karim.
Technical Committee headed by Sourav Ganguly sees a problem in the structuring of the Ranji Trophy which will see a total of 153 games to be played in the league stages and seven games in the knock-out stages.
Ganguly said that he was happy with the new teams being added to the mix, but cleared that he was consulted before the schedule was released and some decisions were taken in the technical committee meeting. He also clarified that he doesn’t see the national selectors giving too much importance to the plate division performances.
Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry told CricketNext, “I have always advocated for the North East states to field their full teams when they participate, this is obviously subject to availability of facilities, logistics etc. However, in the context of these fixtures that you are asking me, all I will say at this stage is that these fixtures do not reflect the decisions taken in the technical committee chaired by Sourav Ganguly and personally, I am somewhat skeptical of the effect that this format would have, especially from the point of view of promotions and relegations in this form.”
9 new teams are being introduced into the system — Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, and Uttarakhand — through the plate division, 5 teams from Group A and B, 2 teams from Group C and 1 team from the plate will qualify for the quarter-finals.
The top team that qualifies from the plate will be promoted to Group C in the next season. Top two teams qualifying from Group C for the quarters will be elevated to Group A or B. The bottom two teams from Group A and B will be relegated to Group C. Bottom team from Group C will be relegated to plate for the next season.
A member of the tours and fixtures committee said that he was surprised that such a roadmap and schedule was approved by the CoA.
He said, “This came as a surprise because you have to realise that if you don’t give the plate teams enough time to get ready for the level of competition that is witnessed in the Ranji Trophy and just draft the top team into the knockout stage, you might see their confidence taking a beating because the big boys of the league have been playing for years.”
“Also, if the suggestions of the committees don’t mean anything, then why are you wasting time and energy of a legend like Ganguly? You have to understand that overlooking the point of the former India skipper is disrespecting not just the man, but also the committee which has other players with valuable cricketing knowledge,” he said.