Dilip Vengsarkar bats for reintroducing elite and plate system in Ranji Trophy

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Dilip Vengsarkar bats for reintroducing elite and plate system in Ranji Trophy

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SportsCafe Desk

01/03/2018

Dilip Vengsarkar has stated that elite and plate system acts as an inspiration for the teams to perform well and asked the BCCI to reintroduce it in the Ranji Trophy. He also feels that it's time that the BCCI gives more annual grants to associations whose teams do well in the Ranji Trophy.

During his tenure as the head of the technical committee, in 2002, Sunil Gavaskar introduced the Elite and Plate Divisions to spruce up the tournament, but that was scrapped in 2012 and instead, the committee led by Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble recommended that three tiers of nine teams each be formed. This year, the number of groups were expanded to four to reduce the quantity of the matches. Now with the season being done and dusted, it raised a few questions, with the good performers having little incentives for the next year. That prompted Wassim Jaffer to suggest introducing the old format once again and he got the backing of Dilip Vengsarkar now.

"I 100 percent agree with what Jaffer has said. There is a tendency with teams who are not doing well to not try hard enough because there's no incentive or nothing to look forward to for them. To stop this kind of attitude amongst these teams, the BCCI would do well to give more money to state associations who teams make it to the knockout stages of the Ranji Trophy. There will then be an incentive for the teams to stay in the Elite league and win tournaments, like Vidarbha did," Vengsarkar told TOI.

Vidarbha's maiden Ranji Trophy triumph on can be attributed to the brilliant management of Vidarbha Cricket Association as they used the money at their disposal to invest in grassroots cricket eight years back. In 2009, the VCA, under the management of former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, had launched a residential cricket academy in Nagpur, which saw many kids from the interiors turn into Ranji level cricketers under the watchful eyes of former India seamers Prashant Vaidya and Subroto Banerjee. Vengsarkar has been really pleased by that and feels it's time that the BCCI gives more annual grants to these associations whose teams do well in the Ranji Trophy than to those whose sides still merely make up the numbers in domestic cricket. 

"There are some teams which have been languishing for years in the lower rankings of the Ranji Trophy. And it seems that there's hardly any infrastructure, or any programme for these teams to do well at the state level. So why should they get the same amount as the other associations? We must reward teams which are doing well in the Ranji,” Vengsarkar remarked.

A maiden appearance in the Ranji Trophy final after ending Karnataka's juggernaut, Vidarbha wrapped up their fairytale journey inside four days in the final against Delhi with a nine-wicket victory to lift the coveted trophy. The win also marked the shift in Indian cricket’s paradigm from big centers to small cities and Vengasarkar, despite being the president of Mumbai Cricket Association, couldn’t be happier.

"I'm glad for Vidarbha. They had the players who believed in themselves. Vidarbha's win is very good for Indian cricket because a lot of players are emerging from smaller cities like Nagpur. It's a good change in Indian cricket, and a sign that the game has spread far and wide in India and everyone is doing well," the 61-year-old added.

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