Ranji Trophy Returns To Home And Away Format, Duleep Trophy To Be Played With Pink Ball | Sportzwiki

Ranji Trophy Returns To Home And Away Format, Duleep Trophy To Be Played With Pink Ball

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to revert to the traditional ‘home and away’ format for the Ranji Trophy. The decision was taken during the meeting of the board’s technical committee under the chairmanship of former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.

In May this year, the one season-old concept of holding the matches at neutral venues had received opposition at the captains’ and coaches’ meeting which was also attended by BCCI acting president CK Khanna, secretary Amitabh Choudhary and CoA officials Diana Edulji and Ramachandra Guha. The meeting was held to receive feedback from the Ranji Trophy captains and coaches after the 2016-17 season with discussions on neutral venues being one of the most important topics. One of the prime reasons for the players and coaches’ reservations over the neutral concept was to avoid travel fatigue as there were only three days between matches.

Another important decision taken at the meeting was that the Duleep Trophy will be a day-night affair using the pink ball. Last year, the tournament was played with the pink ball for the first time with the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara and Yuvraj Singh featuring in it.

And although the tournament did not spring any unexpected result, the durability of the pink ball and its visibility under lights remained a concern for some of the players.

Ranji Trophy Returns To Home And Away Format, Duleep Trophy To Be Played With Pink Ball 1
Credits: AFP

“That [visibility under lights] is a big factor. When it is scuffed up, the colour of the ball goes from pink to greyish. When you apply any natural substance on it, like sweat or saliva, it becomes blackish. And when it hits the boundary ropes, it becomes even more greyish and then you have to change the ball,” Abhinav Mukund had told Cricinfo after the tournament.

Dinesh Karthik had also expressed his reservations over the visibility of the ball.

“I faced Nathu [Singh] and I didn’t pick a couple of balls,” Karthik had said. “I couldn’t especially see a full-toss that took the edge of the bat and went for a boundary. I went and asked the umpire and he had a look and realised that the ball was scuffed up and it was really hard to pick.”

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