The CoA has instructed the BCCI not to scrap the Duleep Trophy after Sourav Ganguly wrote a letter to BCCI General Manager MV Sridhar asking why the First-Class event had been scrapped. The former Indian skipper also suggested that the event be held in south India due to the monsoons in the north.
The decision to drop Duleep Trophy from the domestic calendar had been single-handedly taken by a top BCCI official, which was then contrary to decisions taken by the technical committee headed by Ganguly. The decision was revealed to the public when the BCCI released domestic fixtures for the season a few days back and Duleep Trophy was not scheduled.
Following this, Ganguly had written a letter to BCCI General Manager MV Sridhar asking why the First-Class event had been scrapped.
"I am reading in the media that Duleep Trophy has not or may not take place this season. I don't know that's true or not but if you remember, the members of the technical committee had agreed to use pink balls again for the Duleep matches and the tournament was supposed to be held in the same format as last year," Ganguly wrote to Sridhar in an email accessed by the PTI.
In the letter, the former Indian skipper also suggested that the tournament could be held in Hyderabad or any other part of southern India, owing to the ongoing monsoons in the north.
Now, in response to Ganguly’s letter, the CoA has instructed the BCCI not to scrap the first class tournament and this was confirmed by CoA member Diana Edulji, who told the media, "The Duleep Trophy has been restored. It will be held and logistics will be worked out. We have told BCCI not to scrap it. It should be there. It is a very prestigious tournament and it should be held. It will be held this season."
"Initially, there were suggestions that the matches be held in Mohali or Dharamsala but the inclement weather might play spoilsport. That's why Sourav suggested any city in southern India. The proposal is being carefully considered," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
On the other hand, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla apparently wants UPCA to host the Duleep Trophy matches at its newly-constructed stadium in Lucknow.
Moreover, it was also decided at the technical committee meeting in Kolkata last month that the BCCI will continue with their pink ball experiment that started during the previous season.
But from the BCCI’s point of view, hosting the Duleep Trophy will be a challenge for the governing body as they have to find two weeks in September amidst a calendar that already sees the New Zealand A side touring India for four weeks for a series against India A. As per the itinerary, New Zealand A will be playing two four-day matches against India A in Vijayawada from September 23-26 and September 30-October 3. The five-match ODI series will be held in Visakhapatnam. All the matches will be day-games and will be played on October 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14. The BCCI official also cited how top players may not be available for the tournament.
"The top Indian players will be gearing up for the Australia limited overs series and the second rung will be preparing for the New Zealand A series. You won't have the top 30-32 players playing. The players available will be the next 30, who will not remotely be in contention for