Having rejuvenated the domestic cricket set-up by introducing the under-25 CK Nayudu Trophy this season,BCCIs technical committee has decided to bring this age group within the junior selection committee purview.
“The junior selection committee can help the senior selection committee. It’s impossible for the senior selection committee to keep track of what’s happening in U-25. Having junior selectors there will be a big help for seniors,” a board official said. This move should also help keep an eye on those cricketers graduating from the U-19s but not yet ready to be pitchforked into the senior level. Before this new set-up,there surely would have been a huge gap post their U-19 days.
CK Nayudu,which used to be an under-22 tournament,will now be an under-25 competition and the BCCI has received a good response from the players too. India’s newest Test No.3 batsman,Cheteshwar Pujara,Test reserve opener Ajinkya Rahane and Jaydev Unadkat have turned up to represent their respective domestic teams in the ongoing CK Nayudu Trophy.
Pujara said that the tournament is ideal practice for him before the England Tests. “Sitting at home and anticipating such a big series helped precious little. I needed enough match practice and confidence before the England tour so I decided to play,” Pujara said. “Plus the match was happening in Rajkot.”
A BCCI source said that earlier there used to be no one to monitor the performances in CK Nayudu. Being an under-22 fell neither here nor there,an almost neglected zone between the seniors and juniors,and now with India’s middle order being rebuilt,this will ensure that no talent misses the scanner.
“U-22 never got noticed but under-25 will be,as a good bunch of players are expected to compete. So if any junior selector watches their games,then senior selectors can get a proper report of how they are performing. There is a chance of being upgraded,” an official added. The junior selectors can then put in a word to the senior selection committee,and the player can later be promoted to an India A side.
However,it will add significantly to the workload of the junior selection committee. The break between the U-19 one-dayers the Vinoo Mankad games that start shortly and the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy is not much,while there is only a four-day gap between consecutive Cooch Behar games,which start in November.
Incidentally,the BCCI has to wind up the junior tournament before January so that youngsters can concentrate on their studies in the remaining,exam-time months.