'Sick rule' - Harbhajan Singh, Mandeep Singh and Yuvraj Singh lash out at BCCI after Punjab's exit from VHT

‘Sick rule’ – Harbhajan Singh, Mandeep Singh and Yuvraj Singh lash out at BCCI after Punjab’s exit from VHT

There was no reserve day scheduled for the knock-out games in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20.

Mandeep Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh
Mandeep Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The razmataz of the 2019 edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy is in full flow. While Gujarat is locking horns with Tamil Nadu in the first semi-final, Chattisgarh is squaring off against Karnataka in the second. The season has seen a plethora of damp squibs thanks to inclement weather throughout the country but when we have had some action, it has been pulsating courtesy swashbuckling individual batting and bowling performances followed by upsets like when Chattisgarh pipped Mumbai.

But, the schedule and the format of the tournament has also come under the scanner and intense scrutiny. In the quarter-finals between Chattisgarh and Mumbai & Punjab vs Tamil Nadu, the rain played havoc and the eventual spoilsport. According to the rules of the tournament, in case of a washed-out encounter in the quarter-finals or other knockout games for that matter, the team that has won more matches in the league-stage will automatically qualify for the next round.

Consequently, Tamil Nadu and Chattisgarh who had more victories in the league-stage qualified for the semi-finals while Punjab and Mumbai, who were in a great position in the quarter-finals when the inclement weather intervented, were knocked out. But here’s a catch: Both Tamil Nadu and Chattisgarh played in Group C which had nine games in the preliminary stage while Mumbai and Punjab had just eight league-stage games in their Group. So, even if the teams in Group B had won all their games, they still would have been knocked out in case of a washout.

Vijay Hazare Trophy knockout rules irk the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh

Expectedly, the rule has come under immense scrutiny and criticism from all quarters. Punjab captain, Mandeep Singh had taken to Twitter to express his disappointment over the rules and the lack of reserve-day for the knockouts. Mandeep tweeted, “Played outstanding cricket in the league stage in a very tough A/B group and qualified for the knockouts brilliantly. Now we’re out of the tournament without even playing the quarter-finals due to rain,”

Former India and Punjab all-rounder, Yuvraj Singh had also taken to Twitter where he vented his frustration on the BCCI, questioning of the domestic tournament matters to them or not.

Yuvraj tweeted, “Again an unfortunate result for Punjab against TN in the Vijay Hazare tournament, again Punjab cruising and game abandoned due to bad weather, and on points, we don’t go to semis! Why don’t we have a reserve day? Or is it a domestic tournament it doesn’t really matter?

Joining the bandwagon now is Harbhajan Singh who replied to Mandeep’s tweet, stating, “Sick rule why not reserve day for these tournaments @BCCI must look into this and change it.”