Former coaches, captains not pleased with BCCI idea of neutral venues for Ranji matches

Former coaches, captains not pleased with BCCI idea of neutral venues for Ranji matches

"So many cricketers who have made debut for us this year haven’t played at Chepauk. That’s such a big thing for me, at least,” Mukund noted.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) came up with an interesting idea of hosting the Ranji Trophy fixtures at the neutral venues. The idea was certainly an out of the box sort of claim. There were various reasons that led up to that call last year. The Ranji matches were not fetching large audiences. Hence, scheduling the matches at neutral venues was expected to draw more people to the grounds.

In addition to that, the board also wanted the nullify the home advantage in the domestic games. On most occasions, the home team often got the pitches doctored to their needs which was later not admired by the visiting sides. Reasons such as these led up to that call from the BCCI. However, if former cricketers, coaches, and current captains are to be believed, the idea must be done away with soon.

Chandrakant Pandit talks about fan base

Chandrakant Pandit, the Mumbai coach, noted that playing at neutral venues has affected the team big time. The team had managed to make a fan base in the home conditions which is now lost. Also, the logistics issues have risen.

“If you have a problem with associations making unplayable pitches then deduct their points. I feel we should go back to the old system. The problem a team like Mumbai faced is that at home we have added motivation with people turning up to watch our game. Instead we played at venues where there was nobody. There was no exposure. We travelled for 12 hours in buses on occasions, and often with hardly any gap between matches,” quoted Pandit as per the quotes in the Indian Express.

Sitanshu Kotak cites logistical issues

Former Saurashtra player Sitanshu Kotak also spoke on the same lines indicating that BCCI must do away with the idea of neutral venues. He noted that the administrations at the neutral venues paid very little heed to the concerns and needs of the teams. Also, other issues like food and arrangement of net sessions has been ever increasing in the neutral venues.

“The state association where we played at did not take any interest. There were no net bowlers available. If we ask then we got the answer that the stadium is far and that’s why they can’t come. The food has also been an issue at the same time. Plus there is the case of getting players back into form, since there is no time to take them to the nets and work on their game,” Kotak cited.

Deprived of playing at home

Abhinav Mukund, the veteran Tamil Nadu player, rued the fact that the idea of BCCI is only depriving the young talents the advantage and pleasure of playing at the home venues. He pointed out that several youngsters of Tamil Nadu are yet to play at the fortress of the team at the Chepauk.

“I don’t like this concept mainly because of the fact that there’s no continuity. You play throughout the year in one condition – it’s really important to play at home. So many cricketers who have made debut for us this year haven’t played at Chepauk. That’s such a big thing for me, at least,” Mukund noted.