Ranji Trophy 2013-14 January 21, 2014

Vijay Zol told to skip Ranji final


Vijay Zol, the Maharashtra batsman and India Under-19 captain, has been asked to skip the Ranji Trophy final and instead train with the India U-19 squad ahead of the upcoming ICC U-19 World Cup in the UAE.

The final preparatory camp of the U-19 squad started at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore on Tuesday. Since the Ranji Trophy semifinal overlapped with the preparatory camp, the Maharashtra Cricket Association had to seek BCCI's permission for releasing Zol for the semifinal. But with Maharashtra beating Bengal by 10 wickets within three days, Zol reported at the NCA on the opening day of the camp.

Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI's general manager cricket operations, said the question of the BCCI allowing Zol to contest the final, starting in Hyderabad from January 29, didn't even arise. "It was told to the Maharashtra Cricket Association that Zol will be released only for the semifinal," Shetty told ESPNcricinfo.

Maharashtra coach Surendra Bhave said it was unfortunate for the player to have missed out on an opportunity to play the Ranji final, that too in his debut first-class season. "I would say competing in the Ranji Trophy final is much better than going through monotonous drills in the nets, but we can't do much about it," Bhave said. "The team as a whole won't suffer much since we have a ready replacement for him."

Zol, who scored an unbeaten double hundred on his Ranji debut in Maharashtra's season-opener, missed their last two league matches due to the U-19 Asia Cup in the UAE. He scored a century in the final against Pakistan in the Under-19 Asia Cup and continued his form with a valuable 91 not out to help Maharashtra shock defending champions Mumbai in the quarterfinal.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aditya on January 24, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    This is highly stupid. He is one step away from being in the India team!!

  • Dummy4 on January 23, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    BCCI somehow finds a way to put themselves on the wrong side of what the public wants.This is an insult to all of us who still follow Ranji trophy.. Even the BCCI treats the tournament like this.. Why do we fans even bother to look up the scores?

  • Dummy4 on January 23, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    Debate has to be on the issue and not on Zol. Many teams have suffered, if one has to call it so,due to policies of BCCI. There are ample examples when the state teams were suffering in matches in the hands of lesser teams when their superior in the state teams were warming the benches , as extra players, watching test matches.

    Again, to expect a couple of players to do miracles every time in cricket is a bit too much. If this was any case, teams with greats should never lose a match. (EX: India , RCB, CSK etc). Let us hope Jadhav and Zol will not fail due to too high expectations from them.

  • Kunal on January 23, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    I second to Mautan on BBCI being always caught on the opposite side of the public opinion. Zo has been a revolution for Maharshtra Cricket and deserves to play in the final and win the rare silverware for the team. This is history in the making and sadly due to some authorities governing this game, He will not be a part of this Moment. With all due respect to the U-19 WC camp, I strongly feel BCCI should revisit their decision and allow the revolutionary lad to Finish what he had started!!

  • Dummy4 on January 23, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    By debating too much on Zol, I think we are all putting undue pressure on the lad. Let him get nurtured naturally and stake his claim in higher levels.

  • Dummy4 on January 23, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    this is all politics. no point comments. bcci does not care. its life with twin implications. what people think does not matter. its the authorities what they think. this is India

  • Par on January 22, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    Well luckily it was not TN in finals, other wise BCCI would have given directive to zol to go to U19, others to their home and MAH to field completely new side. Ranji trophy has its importance still, thats why 90% ppl want him to play in finals here. Its BCCI meddling with state associations and forcing their hands/ final outcomes of tournament. for them Ranji is just another IPL, CL.

  • Sanjith on January 22, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    Though I agree with most of the comments made here, I don't think he is yet on the radar of the selectors(Indian test team). Most selectors, am sure, are aware of his abilities and wud readily agree that he cud b the next 'big thing' for Ind cricket. So I don't think his playing/not playing the Ranji final wud hav any bearing on his getting selected to the Ind team in the future. The selectors wud definitely want him to play first class cricket for a year or two at least, before he is considered for selection. So I guess Zol's missing out on the final is more Maha's loss than anything else. And in any case, I guess it's only fair that we expect the captain to be around when the u-19 camps and team bonding sessions are organized. Moreover preparing for a 1st class match is different from preparing for a limited-overs one(though Zol playing the sheet anchor kind of role cud mean a similar kind of preparation). Taking all these into consideration, maybe the BCCI wasn't entirely wrong.

  • Manoj on January 22, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    This is how bcci treats the premier domestic tournament. Its a great loss for zol more than MH. Imagine if he scores a big hundred in final, next india a tour he would have been in. U19 cricket is joke where every tom, dick & harry can score hundreds. See how u19 heroes like chand is struggling in ranji games.

  • mau on January 22, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Out of 20 comments, there are 18 for Zol playing Ranji final and two against! Story of our lives with BCCI..90% people will be on one side and BCCI on the other. According to Sir Ratnakar Shetty ' Question of Zol playing Ranji final, instead of attending the camp, does not even arise!'....great..where do you find these kind of people? I always thought the goal of playing under 19 is to try and get into the Ranji squad. There are number of players even in India u19 team who cannot get into Ranji squads....

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