BCCI mulls changes in Ranji Trophy knockouts qualification format from next season
Written by Shamik Chakrabarty
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Published: February 25, 2020 1:56:45 am

The BCCI is more likely to change the knockouts qualification format in the Ranji Trophy, bringing in pre-quarterfinals from the next season. (Representational Image)

The BCCI is more likely to change the knockouts qualification format in the Ranji Trophy, bringing in pre-quarterfinals from the next season. The Indian Express understands that the revamp is being mulled as a result of, in the prevailing format, many high groups have been lacking out on knockout berths, whereas qualification from the Elite Group C and the Plate Group seems to be comparatively simpler. And when the quarterfinalists from the decrease rungs are going through the groups from the highest tier, the mismatch is clear.

The gulf in class was apparent through the Bengal versus Odisha quarterfinal right here on the DRIEMS College floor. Bengal, regardless of being diminished to 46/5 on the primary day, cruised to the semifinal. The hosts had been poor, each tactically and skill-wise, after the pitch misplaced its zip. Odisha dedicated some elementary errors.

In one other quarterfinal, Jammu & Kashmir frittered away a wonderful alternative to safe the first-innings lead towards Karnataka regardless of being simply 15 runs shy of the goal at one stage, with three wickets in hand. J&Okay folded up inside 45 overs in their second innings to lose the match by 167 runs.

Odisha and J&Okay had come to the quarterfinals from the Elite Group C. The latter had six outright victories in the group stage, whereas Odisha had 5, together with 4 seven-pointers. Goa had certified from the Plate Group, registering seven wins in 9 matches. In the quarterfinal, they misplaced to Gujarat by 464 runs.

Domestic giants like Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Punjab, and back-to-back Ranji Trophy winners Vidarbha, however, couldn’t qualify, as the present format allowed solely high 5 groups from the Elite Group A and Group B mixed to undergo.

It is learnt that in the meanwhile, a plan is afoot to have three groups every from the Elite Group A and Group B to the quarterfinals after which organising two pre-quarterfinals involving the highest groups from the Elite Group C and the Plate Group. Bengal head coach Arun Lal, nonetheless, has a special suggestion.

“Top four teams each from the Elite Group A and Group B and one team each from the Elite Group C and the Plate Group should form the pool (after the group stage). Then, have pre-quarterfinals, where the Group C toppers will face the fourth team from Group A and the Plate Group leaders will be up against the fourth team from Group B. After that we should have the quarterfinals. In that way, you will have only two additional matches and only one extra week in the domestic cricket calendar. I will take my case to the BCCI Captains and Coaches Conclave and if they don’t agree with my suggestions, I will also urge them to explain the reasons for denial,” Lal stated.

Senior Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary concurred. “A change would be better, for, at the moment, some quarterfinals aren’t offering the desired level of competition. The BCCI should look into this and make sure that the teams that deserve to be in the quarterfinals should go through. I think three teams from Group C and the Plate Group (two plus one) are too many.” Tamil Nadu coach Diwakar Vasu prolonged his assist to Lal’s suggestion. “I totally agree with Arun bhai. That would be a great format,” Vasu stated.

Tamil Nadu completed ninth in the Elite cross pool and missed out on knockouts qualification. “At the moment, it’s quite unfair. Another problem is that we don’t know which team has got how many points, because it’s not in one group. So every team is going for outright wins. If you look at the number of outright victories (this season), in the history of the Ranji Trophy, this number of outright victories has never happened,” he noticed.

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