In the wake of Duleep Trophy losing its relevance, Sachin Tendulkar hopes that Sourav Ganguly would bring back the glory days back to the tournament. The legendary cricketer has also added that cricket has always been a team sport and any compromise with that aspect would kill the element of it.
When the Duleep Trophy was organised in a zonal basis, there were complains about non-deserving players getting more chances to play first-class matches while quality players from some centralised associations miss out on the opportunities. Ganguly, during his time as the head of the BCCI technical committee, was responsible for bringing a change to the system and introduced challenger-format.
However, that hasn't been the best format considering the fact that it has lost its competitive streak becoming a place for the individuals to showcase their skill despite the team being in a dire state. Tendulkar's concern revolves around that.
"I want him (Ganguly) to consider looking at the Duleep Trophy...I feel Duleep Trophy is one tournament where one is getting to hear that players are possibly more focused on their own performances and what the next tournament is and they play accordingly," Tendulkar was quoted as saying to the Times of India.
"For instance if there's an IPL auction, or an upcoming T20 tournament or one-day, players end up playing in that mode and not for their team or looking at the need of the hour," he said.
After the successful organisation of the pink-ball Test match at the Eden Gardens, Ganguly will head to Mumbai to attend BCCI's first Annual General Body meeting on Sunday. Tendulkar urged Ganguly to spare some time for the change in Duleep Trophy format and even gave a simple solution in which there would be a small promotion and relegation facility.
"This is one change I would like to see because cricket has always been a team sport. It is all about team spirit bonding and playing together as a team. Not as individuals. Top four Ranji teams and there should be two more teams because there would be a number of teams with talented individuals but which did not qualify. You pick these players from various teams, also promote talented age-group players from Under-19 and Under-23."
"If there's someone exceptionally talented U-19 then you can look at those players. Bring them and have this tournament together. So you have got the best of both. You have got four leading Ranji teams who have been playing together," he added.
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