As per latest reports, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to cut down on its long and grueling Ranji schedule. This move has been mooted with the objective to reduce the workload on the pacers and preserve them for the longer run.
According to a report in cricbuzz, the BCCI’s technical & Tours & Fixtures committee has revealed that henceforth, each team will now play six matches in the league stage (as compared to earlier’s tally of eight). Furthermore, the Board has also divided the 28 domestic teams into four groups of A, B, C & D. Each group will now feature seven teams. Prior to this, there were 27 teams which were divided into 3 groups.
A source close to the board revealed, “Seven teams in each group will balance the tournament nicely, unlike the previous format (10+10+9). Most importantly, this format will help us manage the workload of the bowlers, particularly the pacers, in a better way. Keeping Sehwag’s suggestion in mind, this time we’ve consciously kept a four-day gap between all games in the Ranji Trophy.
“This will help the bowlers recover well for the next game. Earlier, a bowler from a Ranji-winning team would end up bowling in 12 games within a few months. That workload has been reduced by two games.”
As per the schedule, the tournament will begin on October 6.
It may be recalled here that the board had also come up with the idea of matches being played in neutral venues last season. The reason behind this were issues relating to altering of pitches to suit home teams. However, former cricketers suggested that this move might not be successful.