Former Indian domestic legends speak up on the decision of The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to not host the Ranji Trophy 2021. Ranji Trophy is India’s premier first-class domestic tournament and it will be the first time in 87 years, since its inception in 1934-35, that the Ranji Trophy will not be conducted.
This decision by the BCCI comes in the wake of the time lost for the 2020-21 season due to the covid-19 pandemic. However, the governing body has designed paths to host three other one-day tournaments: The senior men’s 50-over competition, Vijay Hazare Trophy; the senior women’s tournament, and the Vinoo Mankad Trophy for Under-19 players.
Former India keeper, Chandrakant Pandit feels sympathy for the players because of the cancellation of the multi-day tournament and opines that the BCCI has decided in tough and unprecedented circumstances. He is happy that other domestic white-ball matches will happen.
“I am sympathetic to what players might be feeling but I think whatever decision BCCI has taken is in the best interest of everyone. I am happy that there is at least two tournaments happening. Could a truncated Ranji Trophy been an option? I don’t know but BCCI, in a short span, also had to organize the Vinoo Mankad Trophy keeping the U-19 World Cup in mind,” Chandrakant Pandit told PTI.
Logistically difficult for BCCI to put 38 teams in the bio-bubble: Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer, the legendary batsman, understands the reason for BCCI’s conclusion; the right-hander points out that there will 38 teams which were about to participate in the Ranji Trophy and believes that it would be nearly impossible to put all of them in the bio-bubble for about 4 months for the BCCI.
“Ideally, I would have liked Ranji Trophy to happen, there is no doubt about it. But obviously with 38 teams, so many players, the venues, and all that, probably it was a bit difficult logistically, so I can understand,” Jaffer said.
Jaffer, who has won multiple Ranji titles with Mumbai and Vidarbha, says that it’s very sad news for players who only play red-ball cricket and will miss out on not only game time, but also have to take a hit financially. Thankfully, the Sourav Ganguly-led panel has decided that players will be compensated for missing out on Ranji Trophy matches.
“I mean still very sad after so many years, for the first time the Ranji is not happening, so it is obviously is going to be sad, especially the players who play only red-ball format, they are not going to play red-ball tournament for a good 18 months,” the former India opener added.
Another former cricketer, Ashok Malhotra concurs with Jaffer’s thoughts and backs the BCCI’s decision saying, “It is a very tough life even at my age so just think that was it practical to put 800 domestic cricketers in three and half month bio-bubble.”
BCCI has recently concluded the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament successfully, in which Dinesh Karthik’s Tamil Nadu emerged victoriously. India will host England for a full-fledged tour in which some crowds are expected. If this plan is conducted successfully, it could lead to the IPL 2021 to be hosted in India itself.