Ranji captains and coaches unhappy with neutral venue concept and umpiring standards

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Ranji captains and coaches unhappy with neutral venue concept and umpiring standards

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SportsCafe Desk


At the Ranji Trophy captains and coaches conclave, several skippers expressed their displeasure at playing all the matches at neutral venues and wanted the National championship to be reverted to home and away basis. The quality of umpiring also met with severe criticism.

The BCCI held a conclave in Mumbai on Tuesday (May 23) to receive feedback on the 2016-17 season that also included discussions on neutral venue, umpiring standards, pay hikes, scheduling, and playing conditions.

Last season the BCCI did away with the home and away format in the National championship to prevent doctoring of the pitches by the home side to their advantage but many captains complained about logistics problems playing all matches at neutral venues, lack of proper training pitches and net bowlers.

"Many players complained about how it involved too much travelling. It was also pointed out that there was zero local interest in neutral games, in both the media and the public, which denied the Ranji players much-needed publicity," an unnamed Board official told the Times of India.

"The system is unfair on players, because all they do between games is travel," a coach present at the meeting told ESPNcricinfo. "There's more pressure on players out of form. In some cases, we reached venue on the night before training day, leaving us with no more than one net session going into the game. Even there, some of the associations couldn't help us with net bowlers. So it becomes tough to manage."

A few of the captains and coaches supported the new format.

"Instead of making a calculation of how many people were on which side, the points made to substantiate a certain position have been collated and will be brought to the working committee and the general body," BCCI's acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said.

The standard of umpiring was pretty poor for a second straight season. In fact, the issue had come up during last year's captains' and coaches' meeting in Dharamsala where the use f referral system was suggested. 

"We had discontinued the practice of the captains giving their report on umpires because the losing captain would mostly give a bad rating to the officials. But we may have to revive it now," a BCCI official said.

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