Ranji Trophy 2013-14 January 6, 2014

Unfair to not release players for Ranji - Prasad

37

Venkatesh Prasad, the Uttar Pradesh coach, is disappointed over the BCCI's decision to not allow six New Zealand-bound India cricketers to play the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals. Suresh Raina and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (UP), Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane (Mumbai), Stuart Binny (Karnataka) and Mohammed Shami (Bengal) could have played in the quarters starting on January 8. However the BCCI decided to let these players depart with the rest of the India ODI squad for New Zealand on January 12, the last day of the quarters.

Prasad, the former India seamer and bowling coach, had sent a written request to the board via the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association on January 2, the last day of UP's final-round match against Railways in Lucknow. "They did not approve," Prasad told ESPNcricinfo.

The biggest disadvantage, Prasad reckoned, was that the Ranji competition would be diluted. "You want the best players in the tournament to compete," Prasad said. "It also helps the youngsters in the squad who can only learn from the international players."

Prasad failed to understand the hurry in sending the players specifically on January 12 when India are scheduled to play their first match only a week later. "They could have departed a day later. In any case they are playing their first match on January 19," Prasad said.

The national selectors and the Indian team management should have taken the initiative, Prasad felt. "Just imagine Bhuvneshwar going to New Zealand with confidence and rhythm having played this match," Prasad said. Bhuvneshwar, Prasad pointed out, has not played a game since a month and would have only benefitted from playing against a quality opponent like Karnataka. "Bhuvneshwar has not played since the first ODI in South Africa," Prasad said. "If he had played Karnataka, it would only help his match fitness."

According to a senior BCCI official, most of the players were returning after a full tour of South Africa and it was only just that they relax. "They have just come back from South Africa. Also, they leave shortly for what will be the start of a hectic year. So this is the time where they need to relax and recuperate."

Ashok Malhotra, the former India batsman and currently Bengal coach, agreed with Prasad that international players "add to glamour quotient," thereby enhancing the image of the Ranji Trophy. Malhotra said he is yet to hear from the Cricket Association of Bengal, whom he had asked to check if Shami could be allowed to play the quarter-final against Railways. "I don't mind having Shami even till the 11th in case the Indian squad is leaving the next day," Malhotra said. "By playing or being there he increases the morale of the Bengal side."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ramesh_Joseph on January 7, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    I do not agree with Prasad. The players have been given a break between the two series to mentally recharge themselves. Any match practice in Ranji in Indian conditions and pitches are likely to do more harm than good, since the conditions in New Zealand are totally different on wet and seaming pitches.Further, the Indian team plays non-stop throughout the year-they are not likely to be without match practice. What if any of the key players get injured playing? Prasad ought to know that nowadays very few Indian International players play in Ranji Trophy. In fact since the conditions in New Zealand are so different, the Indian players should have gone there at least 10 days in advance to get acclimitised.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    @Akshay Mehta.

    Just now I read the report on Ramdin's press conference, about their last ODI to be played in NZ. Indians will be following the WI team, soon after. Ramdin says, (extracts follow):

    "...The grass is greener and there's something for the bowlers, with the two new balls. Once the batters get past that, they should get some runs. It's frustrating with the weather. It's much more cold than we're accustomed to ..."

    I feel both our (Indian) batsmen & bowlers should get as much practice THERE, in those conditions, before the first official match.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    people must know all these players are born n brought up India to the respectve state. If they have chance to play representing it then it should be allowed to make the state claim advantage in the leauge, since the state invested in him an it has moral rights to get its fruits for the betterment of Game atlast. coz state teams manily lack in bench strength. Only execptional team is Mumbai which has huge group of bench strength than all other state.But national

  • Ramanathan-sriram on January 7, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    somebody are talking about the players form and so they should play the domestic games ahead of NZ tour. But i want to clarify one thing that the practice which they do in indian pitches won't help them in the pace and bouncy pitch of NZ. Rohit sharma who won the Man of the series with a double ton and scored back to back centuries in tests went to SA and he couldn't make runs there. so it doesn't mean he is out of form.The thing is he doesn't adapt the conditions well. so i think no need of playing domestic games in indian pitches. bcoz surely they will play well here.

  • on January 7, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    But whats the point in playing on flat tracks where in NZ they are going to get lightening fast tracks?? Bhuvi was left out in SA,, Till BCCI does not enhances quality of pitches ,, no fast bowler from India can do well overseas

  • on January 7, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    @Akshay_mehta1 on (January 7, 2014, 4:51 GMT)

    Even within a family, there could be people holding different opinions. Sometimes, even diametrically opposite views. Then you can imagine what will be the situation in a large country of such diversity. You should know that, even if you are an Indian settled down in Australia. You didn't have to call Indians the "funny" people!

    Another Indian from Australia said that it is not cold now, in NZ. May be for him.Yes, it is better compared to the usual NZ weather conditions too. But for the boys coming from the interiors of UP (guys like Bhuvi & Shami), it is!

  • on January 7, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    Prasad is playing smart. He is getting ready with some of the excuses, well in advance. "Oh, I didn't have my best batsman Raina and my best bowler Bhuvi. So, I expected this result"

    "I told you so,no?" kind of logic! Pretty good! No?

  • on January 7, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    It all depends on how important you consider your domestic league to be. BCCI has made its stand pretty clear on that. As far as match practice goes. Dont think it would be much of a help playing on dead Indian wickets to prepare for New Zealand unless you haven't had any match practice for a very long time.

  • Ramanathan-sriram on January 7, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    I think the BCCI decision right one because if there is any injury of players it will be more difficult to find another one at that time. if there is a gap of atleast 4 days to travel players can be allowed to play their domestic games.

  • on January 7, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Though I agree with most of the comments about the fatigue, Injury or the break being given to prepare themselves for the upcoming tour, I think the choice should be given to players. Whosoever wishes to play to get back into form / to do some match practice, should be allowed.

  • Ramesh_Joseph on January 7, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    I do not agree with Prasad. The players have been given a break between the two series to mentally recharge themselves. Any match practice in Ranji in Indian conditions and pitches are likely to do more harm than good, since the conditions in New Zealand are totally different on wet and seaming pitches.Further, the Indian team plays non-stop throughout the year-they are not likely to be without match practice. What if any of the key players get injured playing? Prasad ought to know that nowadays very few Indian International players play in Ranji Trophy. In fact since the conditions in New Zealand are so different, the Indian players should have gone there at least 10 days in advance to get acclimitised.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    @Akshay Mehta.

    Just now I read the report on Ramdin's press conference, about their last ODI to be played in NZ. Indians will be following the WI team, soon after. Ramdin says, (extracts follow):

    "...The grass is greener and there's something for the bowlers, with the two new balls. Once the batters get past that, they should get some runs. It's frustrating with the weather. It's much more cold than we're accustomed to ..."

    I feel both our (Indian) batsmen & bowlers should get as much practice THERE, in those conditions, before the first official match.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    people must know all these players are born n brought up India to the respectve state. If they have chance to play representing it then it should be allowed to make the state claim advantage in the leauge, since the state invested in him an it has moral rights to get its fruits for the betterment of Game atlast. coz state teams manily lack in bench strength. Only execptional team is Mumbai which has huge group of bench strength than all other state.But national

  • Ramanathan-sriram on January 7, 2014, 10:41 GMT

    somebody are talking about the players form and so they should play the domestic games ahead of NZ tour. But i want to clarify one thing that the practice which they do in indian pitches won't help them in the pace and bouncy pitch of NZ. Rohit sharma who won the Man of the series with a double ton and scored back to back centuries in tests went to SA and he couldn't make runs there. so it doesn't mean he is out of form.The thing is he doesn't adapt the conditions well. so i think no need of playing domestic games in indian pitches. bcoz surely they will play well here.

  • on January 7, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    But whats the point in playing on flat tracks where in NZ they are going to get lightening fast tracks?? Bhuvi was left out in SA,, Till BCCI does not enhances quality of pitches ,, no fast bowler from India can do well overseas

  • on January 7, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    @Akshay_mehta1 on (January 7, 2014, 4:51 GMT)

    Even within a family, there could be people holding different opinions. Sometimes, even diametrically opposite views. Then you can imagine what will be the situation in a large country of such diversity. You should know that, even if you are an Indian settled down in Australia. You didn't have to call Indians the "funny" people!

    Another Indian from Australia said that it is not cold now, in NZ. May be for him.Yes, it is better compared to the usual NZ weather conditions too. But for the boys coming from the interiors of UP (guys like Bhuvi & Shami), it is!

  • on January 7, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    Prasad is playing smart. He is getting ready with some of the excuses, well in advance. "Oh, I didn't have my best batsman Raina and my best bowler Bhuvi. So, I expected this result"

    "I told you so,no?" kind of logic! Pretty good! No?

  • on January 7, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    It all depends on how important you consider your domestic league to be. BCCI has made its stand pretty clear on that. As far as match practice goes. Dont think it would be much of a help playing on dead Indian wickets to prepare for New Zealand unless you haven't had any match practice for a very long time.

  • Ramanathan-sriram on January 7, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    I think the BCCI decision right one because if there is any injury of players it will be more difficult to find another one at that time. if there is a gap of atleast 4 days to travel players can be allowed to play their domestic games.

  • on January 7, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Though I agree with most of the comments about the fatigue, Injury or the break being given to prepare themselves for the upcoming tour, I think the choice should be given to players. Whosoever wishes to play to get back into form / to do some match practice, should be allowed.

  • on January 7, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    Guys we have missed a point here...getting use to climate in one day doesn't make a difference...THEY SHOULD HAVE MADE THEM PLAYED....more cricket will only improve the game....For all who are worrying about the injury of the players...they can also get injured in new zealand as well....IF and Buts ARE not in cricket....

  • venkatesh018 on January 7, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    Prasad has a valid point. Of the six players apart from Mohammad Shami, who needs a much deserved rest, all others badly need quality match time in the middle. Especially Raina, Bhuvanesh Kumar and Rohit Sharma.

  • Akshay_mehta1 on January 7, 2014, 4:51 GMT

    Indian are just funny (must say few Indians) .. when we don't send our teams early on tours we all issues, when we do then also we have issues. half of the time Indian media kills players confidence... BTW i am an Indian to but from Australia

  • Kashi0127 on January 7, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    @Gaurav Manchanda Its should not be left to players. I would say a minimum no. of domestic matches need to be made compulsory for all players. Dhoni may be good but he is just another cricket player.

  • on January 7, 2014, 3:03 GMT

    This time it is the turn of j and k team they have improved their batting,bowling as well a as fielding this is the great opportunity for them to turntables

  • on January 7, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    @cricket Bash its not cold in NewZealand atm

  • ashok16 on January 6, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    there should be no national team tours during the last two rounds of Ranji and all through the knockouts. the national team is overexposed and its performances are largely predictable and dull. Ranji is more exciting and with the top players, it will only be more so.

  • on January 6, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    Totally WRONG!

    The players need to be sent early as they can acclimatise to the cold weather in New Zealand and play a few practise games. India received a drubbing in ODIs in SA for they ran into quality fast bowlers in real match situations, without any practice whatsoever..

    New Zealand are a good one day side and Dhoni & co need time on hand to prepare and offer some kinda resistance to kiwis..

  • on January 6, 2014, 19:34 GMT

    what if they get injurerd.Mr.prasad they are goin early so they can have some practice on fast tracks.

  • Cricfever_PM on January 6, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    It's not good decision to add the players to Ranji Squad when the team touring next day of Ranji quarters!!! What if players get injured and some players feel fatigue as well. It's good to keep them away and make them train in NZ as Sub continent training wont give any experience to NZ condition.

  • on January 6, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    Mr. Prasad, first go & ask the players, "Do you wanna play domestic matches?" . Their response would be "BIG NO". When was the last time Dhoni played a domestic first class or list A or domestic T20 (excluding IPL & Champions League).

  • Mr_Anonymous on January 6, 2014, 18:52 GMT

    There is no good answer for this. It would have been nice to have some actual match practice and add some glamour element for the Ranji quarter finals and help their local team progress. However, the players also need a break between tours and need to go early to move into a different timzeone, weather and acclimatize to a new environment and be comfortable before the ODIs start. If the players don't do that and the Indian team loses badly (which is possible as they are playing away from home) they will be blamed not taking the tour seriously and not spending time to acclimatize properly and there will be the usual uproar over the BCCI not doing enough to take away tours seriously. I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer here. Each choice has its own pros/cons. I do think that the Ranji Trophy is and should be viable without the international team players participating in them as this tournament is more for unearthing/developing local talent/players.

  • on January 6, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    Rohit sharma needed match practice than others.He spent lot of time in Southafrica in dressing room only..

  • rphanikanth on January 6, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    I feel Bhuvaneshwar should have been the only one allowed to play in the Ranji quarters. He hasn't has much match practice and this match would have provided it to him.

    All others have been playing more often so they did not need to play in the Ranji quarters.

  • Hanumall on January 6, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    They should have left it to the players to decide whether they would be better off with some rest or some match practice. Individual players' methods of tuning up for a series would obviously be different and the player concerned knows best what suits him. People without any accountability should not impose meaningless restrictions on players.

  • Gopalakrishna on January 6, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Ok - I agree with BKV - What if the key players getting injured ? I remember SM Gavaskar playing a Ranji game and got injured and was kept out of the test. M Azhauddin got injured in a tour game and could not take part in the test as a result of which he was stranded playing 99 tests. I think BCCI is right in not allowing players to take part in Ranji matches prior to the tour in which Raina plays an important role in one day games against Black Caps. HRG - Cricket Statistician - BAngalore

  • on January 6, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    If the international crickets are allowed, then how is it fair for the teams opposing them? Why should one team's strength be suddenly beefed up?

  • binojpeter on January 6, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    Actually, BCCI should have made a window for international fixtures for India during the period from quarterfinals to finals of Ranji Trophy. That is how teams like England and Australia does so there is exchange of experience between players with international experience and domestic experience and also see which bowlers fare better against batsmen with international experience and which batsmen fares better against bowlers of international experience.

  • pull_shot on January 6, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    I think that should be left to players

  • on January 6, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Prasad ji is correct, these boys shud have played in their respective Ranji matches, being match fit is always important.They have had enough rest from the SA series to play this Ranji fixture.

    To add to this I think the BCCI for the past few years made a big mistake of stopping players playing in English County cricket due to the IPL. Players could gain great experience of playing county cricket and get climatized to conditions especially when season starts early and India are touring in the summer.

  • on January 6, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    Prasad has got his point of view saying star players add to glamour quotient & fillip to the team. but on contrary what abt the player who toiled hard for his team making them reach the knockouts & finds himself making way for a star player so that he can get some match practice. that's silly. conditions in NZ & india r chalk & cheese apart. if some players need practice, they can assemble at nets & bowl or bat with their teams & also give some tips if required. In a short tour even 24 HRS do matter. so sorry mr Prasad !

  • on January 6, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    In fact there is point in Prasad's reaction. There is really no difference in leaving for NZ on 13th instead of 12. I remember our last Aussie tour in 2012 end. After winning MOS against WI, Rohit was selected to the Ausie tour. He played both the practice matches there before tests against good teams. Scored runs in both matches. But due to VVS, Dravid just couldn't make spot in playing 11. He sat on bench in all 4 tests match. And he spent more than one & half months without playing a single match. And then he lost his form badly. So rightly Prasad pointing out Bhuvaneshvar. Rightly he too is without match since first onedayer against SA. It may affect negatively for him. Plus Ambati Rayudu is also sitting on bench since long time. Ranji matches can be helpful for entire team. Rohit, Shikhar, Vijay, Rahane, Bhuvaneshvar, Raina ... Everybody can be benifitted. Quarterfinal of any national tournament is always good for anybody. BCCI should think about it. It is always good to have it.

  • on January 6, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    One cannot just keep playing cricket daily. Its important for the international players to relax after a month and half tour.. This will help them to regroup and perform better in the forthcoming matches. Instead of having international players, as said by @Deepak Mariyappa, its good to give other players a chance to showcase their talent.

    Since India have hectic year its important they find time to switch off from cricket. If you keep your mind relaxed, it can regroup its energy and so players can do well.. Yes as Prasad says, it will help in improving match fitness. But mental tension arises which could lead to problems. Mind should be relaxed. So switch off for some time and then get back into the groove.

    Unfair comments from Prasad. Totally disagree.

  • on January 6, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    Just do not agree to Mr Deepak, Prasad is absolutely right...Nothing can replaced a competative match pratice at domestic circuit....

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    All parties involved in cricket administration look at things from their point of view.The Board, Coaches, Selectors, Local Satraps,... everyone! Does anyone knows or care to find out what the player wants and what he considers important to help him perform well, overseas?

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    they should allow players to play for ranji

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    I am shocked by Prasad's reaction. International cricket is of prime importance and we have already seen how important is it to give the players time to get adjusted to the foreign climate and conditions. The earlier they get there the better it is. It is also important for the team to practice and play games together as it helps in the bonding especially with a few debutants on board.

    Ranji will not get diluted in these guys absence. Instead it gives good opportunities for other players to show their talent at the national level.

    Thank god he is not one of the selectors.

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    I am shocked by Prasad's reaction. International cricket is of prime importance and we have already seen how important is it to give the players time to get adjusted to the foreign climate and conditions. The earlier they get there the better it is. It is also important for the team to practice and play games together as it helps in the bonding especially with a few debutants on board.

    Ranji will not get diluted in these guys absence. Instead it gives good opportunities for other players to show their talent at the national level.

    Thank god he is not one of the selectors.

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:43 GMT

    they should allow players to play for ranji

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    All parties involved in cricket administration look at things from their point of view.The Board, Coaches, Selectors, Local Satraps,... everyone! Does anyone knows or care to find out what the player wants and what he considers important to help him perform well, overseas?

  • on January 6, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    Just do not agree to Mr Deepak, Prasad is absolutely right...Nothing can replaced a competative match pratice at domestic circuit....

  • on January 6, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    One cannot just keep playing cricket daily. Its important for the international players to relax after a month and half tour.. This will help them to regroup and perform better in the forthcoming matches. Instead of having international players, as said by @Deepak Mariyappa, its good to give other players a chance to showcase their talent.

    Since India have hectic year its important they find time to switch off from cricket. If you keep your mind relaxed, it can regroup its energy and so players can do well.. Yes as Prasad says, it will help in improving match fitness. But mental tension arises which could lead to problems. Mind should be relaxed. So switch off for some time and then get back into the groove.

    Unfair comments from Prasad. Totally disagree.

  • on January 6, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    In fact there is point in Prasad's reaction. There is really no difference in leaving for NZ on 13th instead of 12. I remember our last Aussie tour in 2012 end. After winning MOS against WI, Rohit was selected to the Ausie tour. He played both the practice matches there before tests against good teams. Scored runs in both matches. But due to VVS, Dravid just couldn't make spot in playing 11. He sat on bench in all 4 tests match. And he spent more than one & half months without playing a single match. And then he lost his form badly. So rightly Prasad pointing out Bhuvaneshvar. Rightly he too is without match since first onedayer against SA. It may affect negatively for him. Plus Ambati Rayudu is also sitting on bench since long time. Ranji matches can be helpful for entire team. Rohit, Shikhar, Vijay, Rahane, Bhuvaneshvar, Raina ... Everybody can be benifitted. Quarterfinal of any national tournament is always good for anybody. BCCI should think about it. It is always good to have it.

  • on January 6, 2014, 14:53 GMT

    Prasad has got his point of view saying star players add to glamour quotient & fillip to the team. but on contrary what abt the player who toiled hard for his team making them reach the knockouts & finds himself making way for a star player so that he can get some match practice. that's silly. conditions in NZ & india r chalk & cheese apart. if some players need practice, they can assemble at nets & bowl or bat with their teams & also give some tips if required. In a short tour even 24 HRS do matter. so sorry mr Prasad !

  • on January 6, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Prasad ji is correct, these boys shud have played in their respective Ranji matches, being match fit is always important.They have had enough rest from the SA series to play this Ranji fixture.

    To add to this I think the BCCI for the past few years made a big mistake of stopping players playing in English County cricket due to the IPL. Players could gain great experience of playing county cricket and get climatized to conditions especially when season starts early and India are touring in the summer.

  • pull_shot on January 6, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    I think that should be left to players

  • binojpeter on January 6, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    Actually, BCCI should have made a window for international fixtures for India during the period from quarterfinals to finals of Ranji Trophy. That is how teams like England and Australia does so there is exchange of experience between players with international experience and domestic experience and also see which bowlers fare better against batsmen with international experience and which batsmen fares better against bowlers of international experience.