September 1, 2003

Duleep Trophy to revert back to old format

Wisden CricInfo staff

The technical committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met today at Bangalore to discuss the recommendations of coaches and captains from the recent conference there and to deliberate over playing conditions for the forthcoming season.

Among the most prominent decisions taken was to revert the Duleep Trophy back to its old format, following remarks from captains that the experimental format did not provide a sense of identity to the teams. The committee also decided that experiments with uncovered surfaces did not prove a success, and that pitches would be covered this season. To promote variety, however, they would be mowed on alternate days instead of every day.

Looking ahead to the tri-series involving India, Australia and New Zealand later this year, the committe will also propose an amendment to the bonus-point system to the ICC. To avoid scenarios where a team manipulates the bonus-point structure expressly to get the weakest team into the final as an opponent, the committee suggested that a team that loses a match and concedes a bonus point should further be penalised one point.

SK Nair, the BCCI secretary, also stated that lights for day-night games would now be switched on at 4.30pm IST. Among the other decisions taken was to convert the 2004-05 Cooch Behar trophy into an elite-plate format and to declare the final of the upcoming Challenger Trophy as a benefit for Sadanand Viswanath.