The Ranji Trophy, the prestigious domestic tournament in India is the best platform for the players to develop and showcase their talent for Test Cricket. The current Ranji Trophy season began on 7th December. It is an honor for a player to represent his state. It is beginning of big cricket moving up from local clubs and then onwards, the player can get selected for the national squad. But with lots of T-20 and 50 over’s played in modern day cricket, the importance to this series of matches is going down. In the process, BCCI is not giving enough attention to the real technique, ability to stand at the crease, patience and especially defensive play that is the key to become a good Test cricketer.
The Ranji Trophy was launched as the “ Cricket Championship of India” in July 1934 with first fixtures taking place in 1934-35. The most number of wins by team is by Mumbai; winning it 40 times. Many former players like Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman have played Ranji Trophy. India is a country where top cricket players have played the longer version of the game and represented the country in the Test version of the game for the country and have made the country proud by scoring centuries in it. The Ranji Trophy gives a chance for young stars to shine and make a name for them. Among the young key Ranji Trophy players are Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Robin Uthappa, R. Vinay Kumar
It is also a platform for those players who have played for India but are not in fray for selection currently to come back in the Test squad. Players like L Balaji, Dinesh Karthik, Wasim Jaffer, S Badrinath are among this group. Among the current player’s in Indian team Ajiyanka Rahane, Ravindra Jadjea and Rohit Sharma, have arisen from Ranji Trophy into the Indian team in every format.
The classic example of defensive batsmen is KL Rahul who has done well in his first season scoring more than 1000 runs which shows his consistency. His consistent performance in the Duleep Trophy and Ranji Trophy has put him directly in current test team playing in Australia. His batting looks like Dravid. It is also a chance for those senior players who have been struggling for form for the past 3-4 years and are not selected in the 30 men probable’s for World Cup 2015. The players are Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Gautuam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan to show the selectors that they have a lot of cricket left in them. Senior players like them playing in Ranji Trophy also adds value for grooming the youngsters and mentor them a lot of cricketing skills.
It is unfortunate that the BCCI is not giving enough encouragement for this tournament with the advent of T20 and ODIs.i) Ranji Trophy must get due consideration in selecting the national squads. Committed and consistent young players should be in line for selection for the national team. ii) BCCI is rich enough to compensate them with financial packages so that they need not struggle to earn their livelihood. iii) BCCI should also make sure that good sporting pitches are prepared so that result oriented matches that test the skills and patience of the batsmen and the pace and spinning knacks of the bowlers. iv) BCCI must encourage school and college students and people in general to come and watch the matches by free entry or concessional tickets. v) They also must enter into contract for covering all matches on television by regional and national channels.vi) Public and Private Companies may be encouraged to sponsor Ranji trophy team with due income tax relief.
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