Ranji Trophy 2013-14 January 6, 2014

Unfair to not release players for Ranji - Prasad

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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

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • dummy4fb 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

  • dummy4fb 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!

  • dummy4fb 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?

  • espncricinfomobile 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.

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • dummy4fb 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....