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BCCI may cancel rescheduled Ranji matches

Ajay Shirke
Ajay Shirke. (Photo by Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reconsidering its decision of rescheduling two Ranji Trophy league matches that were called off on the second day of the four-day match after objections raised by at least two State associations.

In fact, indications are the senior tournament committee is all set to reverse the earlier decision of rescheduling the two games. During a meeting of all the BCCI affiliates in New Delhi on Friday, the members discussed the protest letters filed by Mumbai Cricket Association and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, which led to the BCCI deciding to forward the earlier decision to the senior tournament committee.

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BCCI had earlier announced the dates for the two 5th round matches which were abandoned. The matches were slated to be played from December 15 to December 18. The Group A encounter between Gujarat and Bengal was scheduled at Vizag while the second match, the one between the Group C teams – Hyderabad and Tripura – was scheduled at Kolkata. However, those couple of matches are highly unlikely to happen.

The senior tournament committee includes BCCI vice-president Gautam Roy as chairman, representatives of Haryana, Goa, Odisha, Baroda and Uttar Pradesh cricket associations, and secretary Ajay Shirke as the convener. The date of the meeting is yet to be confirmed but a BCCI source revealed that the members were against the decision to postpone the games.

Owing to a dense smog that had polluted the air in the national capital, the BCCI on November 6, had announced the two games in Delhi scheduled from November 5 — Gujarat versus Bengal and Hyderabad against Tripura — would be replayed at the end of the scheduled league stage.

Shirke, however, made a flip-flop on the earlier statement, putting the onus on match referees of both the deferred matches. “It was a recommendation (by the technical committee) that was objected to and now the decision will be taken by the senior tournament committee,” Shirke told The Hindu. “The whole problem is related to the match referee’s decision to call off the match (on the second day).”

Rules and convention prescribe that umpires and match referees wait late into the four-day evening before calling a match off. For instance, the last Ranji game that was called off without a ball being bowled due to incessant rains in Kolkata — Bengal’s home game versus Baroda in 2013-14 — was eventually cancelled after tea on the fourth day.

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