North Zone v East Zone, Duleep Trophy semi-final, 5th day October 14, 2013

Disappointing to go out on coin toss - Nadeem


Shahbaz Nadeem does not like losing a toss. In the previous Ranji Trophy season, the Jharkhand captain won six out of nine tosses before his team lost out to Punjab on the first-innings lead in the quarter-finals. But on Monday, Nadeem lost the most important toss, one which would have taken East Zone to the Duleep Trophy final had he won it.

A wet outfield in Kochi had erased all optimism of any play on the extra fifth day of the semi-final, forcing the match referee V Narayan Kutty to walk to the pair of Harbhajan Singh and Nadeem, the North Zone and East captains, to explain the rule that the winner would be determined by the toss of a coin. Till then Harbhajan was joking with Nadeem and the other East players. But now Nadeem was slightly anxious.

He had already lost the toss on day one to Harbhajan, who had elected to bat. Nearly two of the first four days of the match were washed out but North amassed 591 for 8 with four of their batsmen making hundreds. Apart from the fraught weather Nadeem and his team had endured 194 overs on the field. When it was their turn to bat, East managed 32 for 1 in 14 overs before the umpires called the match off.

"Today I was actually pretty confident since I had lost the toss before the match started. So I thought may be this one I would win," Nadeem said. It was the first time players on both sides had experienced a match being decided by the toss of a coin. Unfortunately for Nadeem and East, Harbhajan called "heads", which proved correct. North will now play South Zone in the final, which starts on October 17, again in Kochi.

Nadeem said he had nothing against the rules but would've liked to have taken advantage of a batting-friendly pitch. "It was a very flat wicket. We wanted to go and play because we had fielded for 195-odd overs, so we thought we would make them field for at least 150 overs. We have a very long batting line-up so we were confident if we had enough time. But we could not do anything much since the conditions were really wet.

"It was slightly disappointing since it was the semi-finals of the Duleep Trophy. Our team bats till No 9 including seven specialist batsmen and a couple of allrounders. Although we lost one wicket our batsmen have been in good form and we were confident. But what can we do? If it was decided by skills of players (then it would have been different) but if it is decided this way then what can we do."

The previous first-class match decided on the toss of a coin was the 2004-05 Ranji Trophy Plate Group semi-final when Services advanced against Himachal Pradesh. Only 27 overs were possible in Himachal's first-innings before the match was abandoned due to rain.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 16, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    They actually tossed a coin to decide the winner. Unbelievable!

  • Ramesh on October 15, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    hahaha @sultan2007 seems to have been whacked on the head a couple of times before he made Duleep trophy the "Biggest Domestic Trophy"/ Good one Sultan!!! keep it up... You make us readers have a light moment!!!

  • Arvind on October 15, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    @Sultan2007 It is unbelievable how some people just want to comment on everything, even if they have no idea what they are talking about. The Duleep Trophy is not the biggest domestic tournament in India, in fact few people care about it. Your comment about youngsters losing opportunity on the "biggest platform" is even more laughable. The Duleep Trophy has 5 teams and 4 matches! For God's sake, don't use Cricinfo as a "platform" for advertising your stupidity. Cricinfo, please publish.

  • binu on October 15, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    Duleep Trophy is a good tournament giving chance to players done good for their respective states in Ranji to the zonal team and from all these zones outstanding players get selection to ROI team for Irani Trophy, which plays against the Ranji champs , the concept is good but administration lack vision

  • Shantharam on October 15, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    It was a ridiculous way of deciding the winner. Cant think of world's no 1 cricketing country adopting to such unscientific methods for deciding the winner.

    Luckily NZ won the toss, which probably was right as it really required a herculean effort from EZ to go past the NZ score.

    This method of deciding on the toss would have looked even more hollower had it been NZ-591/8 dec. and EZ- 200/9 and then EZ would have won the toss

  • Rahul on October 15, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    I actually think Bhajji should remain in contention for a Test recall. He is only 33! This is when spinners should be at their cleverest best. Here is a man who is only 33 and has 400 wickets under his belt. He should have another 4 years if he serious about his career. Surely the coaches should be working like crazy to sort out Bhajji's gaps to get him back into the Test side. Especially given Ashwin's poor returns of late. You have to believe that Class is more durable and will endure beyond 33 years of age. Someone needs to have a frank talk with him.

  • gnanavelu on October 15, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    Bhaji is definitely not a captaincy material. He was lucky both in cl t20 final and here too. Hope this crude luck does not drag his way back to the settled indian team. In my opinion bhaji should have retired when anil retired. It has been all but misery for him after that.

  • Rahul on October 15, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Unbelievable that the biggest tournament in the Indian domestic first class season has a crucial game decided on a toss! And what of the poor youngsters who have waited years to demonstrate their skills on the biggest domestic platform? The administration should try and think through the unintended consequences of rules in a comprehensive manner. Tough to understand why the Duleep Trophy would/should be held hostage to conflicts with the Domestic calendar given its pride of place

  • Himanshu on October 15, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    Given some of the comments here, it is evident that most people do not even know about this tournament. What are the rules, the scheduling etc. There is absolutely no point in having another tournament during monsoon season just to fill a gap in the calendar. Let the players have a break or the good ones can go and play county cricket. I agree with Bob and Rahuja, that this tournament should be scrapped altogether. Ranji Trophy is a premiere domestic tournament and we should focus solely on that.

  • varun on October 14, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    What's wrong with people - they don't even care about what's the tourney format but are ready to comment. Guys - this is Duleep trophy and altogether, it has only 4 matches - 1 QF, 2 SF and one Final. Please click on and then comment. Nothing can be done when the weather is bad - Duleep trophy is not whole season tourney and there are no league matches to consider the wins/avg or any stuff - this is DULEEP trophy, not RANJI! Please publish cricinfo.

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