Mohammad Kaif disappointed on neutral venues in Ranji Trophy
Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif is very much disappointed by the BCCI’s decision to host Ranji Trophy at neutral venues for the upcoming season. According to him, it is a bad move. Fans can not watch their state’s best players in hometown .
“With neutral venues, you take out the crowd coming and watching the sport. I remember when I played in Meerut a few years back, the whole stadium was jam packed. Every seat was taken. It was between Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. Then there was a game in Ghaziabad, Delhi vs UP, where Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli were all playing and from UP, there were Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and myself – it was like playing an international game. But that goes out now,” he said.
“We have tried this before, so why have we again come to playing at neutral venues? We are going back and forth, to be honest. I had so much fun playing in (front of local fans), being applauded by the fans and all. They want to see, they deserve to see their local heroes playing in their hometown,” he added.
Kaif told BCCI could have been better of putting BCCI-appointed curators in charge of producing sporting pitches. “Personally, I would had kept four games home and four games away, but the four games that you play at home, you have BCCI curators coming in and preparing the pitch. They should be the ones deciding, ‘Boss, on this pitch, there is no home or away the advantage. It’s just a sporting pitch. It’s a good track for a four-day game.’ And that’s it. Maybe that would’ve been a better option compared to neutral venues,” he said.
Now, Kaif is captain of the Andhra side. AP finished last in Group B in 2015. He admitted that the results last year were not a good for Indian domestic cricket with games ending in two and a half days.
“Especially last year, the way the associations and the teams approached playing at home, it was not good for Indian cricket. Matches were getting over in two and a half days. That is, basically, you playing on unprepared pitches, trying to make the most of the home advantage, ” he told.
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