Forced to shift base after the BCCI imposed a one-year ban on their home ground,the Karnail Singh Stadium,owing to poor pitch conditions,the Railways Ranji trophy team have moved to Bhubaneswar for the 2012-13 season. The two-time former champions will be playing a few of their home matches at the East Coast Railways stadium in the Orissa capital that incidentally was the alternate home ground for the state Ranji team till last season.
Railways,who are clubbed along with champions Rajasthan and Mumbai in Group A,are also said to be considering another venue in Patiala and are waiting for the curators report before arriving at a final decision on distributing the four home matches for the season.
Coach Abhay Sharma confirmed that Railways have decided on their new base but refused to elaborate on the reasons for opting for Bhubaneswar. We had shortlisted a few grounds and based on lot of things,logistics as well as our team tactics,we would be primarily based out of Bhubaneshwar for the season. The modalities are still being worked out,we are also looking out at a coupe of other venues for a few other games, he said.
Meanwhile,work is in progress at the Karnail Singh Stadium,although the process of repairing the playing square and the outfield was hindered by the heavy rains this season. However,the Railways team are confident of shifting back to Karnail next season.
IN the past,Railways team have been accused of doling out underprepared pitches to suit their spin-oriented attack. The board,in an unprecedented move at the review meeting last season,decided to ban the venue to send a strong signal to the teams,cautioning them against employing unfair home advantage.