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Irani Cup, Duleep Trophy are in danger in days of fast cricket, says Sandeep Patil

"It’s the players who should say something about this."

Sandeep Patil
Sandeep Patil. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The scheduling of India’s domestic cricket has sparked controversy yet again. The staging of a tournament like Irani Cup after the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy has earned a lot of criticism and the performance displayed by the players during the first-class match also did not convince many.

Defending Ranji champions Vidarbha, who won their second successive title this year, took on the Rest of India (ROI) in Nagpur without two of their premier players – Umesh Yadav and Wasim Jaffer – both of whom were in great forms this season. It was suspected that with the Indian Premier League (IPL) and World Cup lined up over the next few months, the ROI players were not too interested to take the long-format game seriously and succumbed to playing far too adventurous shots that are unsuitable in four-day games.

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Winning the toss and electing to bat, the ROI led by Ajinkya Rahane were all out for 330 from being 231 for three once. Hanuma Vihari scored 114 while Mayank Agarwal missed his century by just five runs. In reply, Vidarbha were 245 for 6 in their first innings at stumps on Day 2, trailing the visitors by another 85 runs. Last year, the same two teams had met in the Irani Cup with Vidarbha winning by the virtue of a first-innings lead after scoring a mammoth 800 for 7 declared.

Former India batsman Sandeep Patil said the players themselves should speak out on the issue. He said the domestic season is over and the players are now concentrating on tournaments like IPL. He even felt pessimistic about the traditional tournaments in these days of fast cricket.

Players save themselves for IPL

“It’s the players who should say something about this. These days, the players save themselves for the IPL. The season is practically over now. The Aussies will play only a few limited over games here. The pace and direction at which modern-day cricket is going, it’s difficult to revive these tournaments,” Patil, a former selection committee chairman, was quoted as saying, according to a Times of India (TOI) report. He also felt the future of tournaments like Duleep Trophy is in danger.

Patil opined the importance of domestic cricket has gone down and the lack of participation from top players hasn’t done any good. “It’s sad, and we had discussed this four to five years ago in the Board, when Sourav Ganguly was the chairman of the Tours and Fixtures Committee. Unless the BCCI takes a stance on this, nothing will improve,” the 62-year-old said.

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