Ranji Trophy 2013-14

Vijay Zol told to skip Ranji final

Amol Karhadkar

January 21, 2014

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Vijay Zol plays a pull, India v Papua New Guinea, Group C, ICC Under-19 World Cup 2012, Townsville, August 16, 2012
No Ranji final for Vijay Zol in his debut season © ICC/Getty

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

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Posted by cric_follower on (January 24, 2014, 13:20 GMT)

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

Posted by   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?

Posted by   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.

Posted by kunnz.beck 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!!

Posted by   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.

Posted by   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

Posted by Dhanno 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.

Posted by TheRovingMaverick 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.

Posted by manu566 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.

Posted by mautan 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....

Posted by anshu.s on (January 22, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

Even though i myself am a great believer and fan of age group cricket and have watched last two u-19 WC on TV but even i have to admit that participating in Ranji finals is much more bigger and important than attending a preparatory camp, anyways haven't Zol and Samson already outgrown u 19 level and should be in contention for India A squad instead there spots in u 19 WC should have gone to other talented youngsters...

On a larger level it just proves that first class teams in cricket are just mere feeders to the national teams, can you ever imagine such thing happening in Football, try asking Man United or Real Madrid for one of there star young guns to participate in an u-19 tournament that too in middle of a season !!! no chance

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 12:43 GMT)

Zol must be given chance to play finals. If not, Maharashtra supporters will have every reason to cry foul when they lose.

Posted by ashes267 on (January 22, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

Maharashtra's batting is now weakened without Zol ... Zol ka Zol

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 10:57 GMT)

An extremely interesting situation and a golden opportunity for BCCI to insist that Ranji Trophy is as important as any international tournament. Vijay Zol would have benefited playing against one of the better bowling attacks in the country.

Posted by naren1983 on (January 22, 2014, 10:46 GMT)

U-19 WC starts in 10th Feb. Ranji Final starts 29th Jan and finish maximum by 2nd Feb. Also India U-19 had just played Asia Cup & Won Convincingly. So BCCI should have confident in this young man to play Ranji Final and join the team later with training sessions with the team-mates. Now, he is been asked to leave Maharashtra team and join U-19. This happens only in India. If its the situation with any other cricketing board, they will first ask the player to stay and win the final and then move to training session. Its all influences :)

Posted by BMayuresh on (January 22, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

This is part of the game. Zol would be happy that he is representing the National Side in U19 and at the same time would be disappointed on losing the Final of the most prestigious Domestic Trophy. Nonetheless, either ways it is good for him. Yes, Maharashtra will suffer by the absence of the run making machine, but yes I believe they would still be good with KJ still around. Now if Maharashtra wins the cup, then surely this demands for a movie being shot on their journey this time, I believe it should be called Chak De II. Best of luck Maharashtra.

Posted by jimbond on (January 22, 2014, 7:39 GMT)

A domestic trophy final is surely more prestigious than an under 19 tournament which nobody cares about. This is an irresponsible advice given to a player. Only the Karnataka team would be happy with this decision.

Posted by vipinchirackal on (January 22, 2014, 6:48 GMT)

renji trophy is absolutely useless as a preperation for an international events.you have to face some third rated bowlers there which will never help you to perform in international level.let them trained at net itself and focus on the upcoming event.remeber there are some important players there like zol,samson,kuldeep adn khan

Posted by abhitupe on (January 22, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

@Mathew Philip: Its just not for proving BCCI one plays Ranji trophy. I agree to the fact that ultimate goal is to represent India. Had world cup started by then, it would have been. Think from his point of view, Maharashtra in the finals after 21 years, we do hope that he has one more chance, but who knows. look at Kanitkar, he played for India, still never tasted success at Ranji trophy. Moved to Rajasthan to take two trophies. People spend so much time Ranji trophy is as big as world cup if not more.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

This is not expected from BCCI at all and thats the difference between BCCI and AUS/ENG boards, They always prefer their players to play domestic matches than net practices. Whats the use of net practice compared to the match practice that too in a big final. If Zol had the privilege to play the final which is his first, the kind of exposure he gets is huge. it really helps him to play the big matches in the upcoming U-19 WC too. Shame on BCCI, thats why its better to have a board with players in the management rather than business minds over there.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 3:54 GMT)

BCCI is right, Vzol and sanju v samson both are ready for 2015 world cup,they don't need to proove anything. ranji trophy is for the people to proove they are worth. bcci is totally right

Next 2015 world cup indian team should be 1.Gautham gambr.2shivardavan.3pujara4.kholi5.rahane.6msdhoni.7sreshraina as a bolwer 8.jadeja9.shami10.bkumar.11v.aron.12.arayidu13sanju14vzol15sbinny.16abisheknair

Posted by KC1977 on (January 22, 2014, 3:52 GMT)

Shame on BCCI. Nothing can match 'match practice', and that too Ranji Trophy Final. Maharashtra Cricket Association should protest against this and play Vijay Zol in the final. It would have been a different situation if Zol was on bench, but that is not the case for sure. Just think from his perspective, playing in Ranji Final, that too in his debut season. BCCI is just spoiling domestic cricket.

Posted by RajeshNaik on (January 22, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

Insane! Zol is better off playing against a competitive Karnataka attack than running around in a boot camp. Those monotonous drills serve nothing. Playing the final would help him to be in a better shape and mindset for the U-19 world cup. BCCI, please wake up.

Posted by pull_shot on (January 22, 2014, 2:11 GMT)

This just shows importance of Ranji in bcci view, no wonder it produced less no of international players for a big country and with more than 20 teams

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 1:40 GMT)

It shows BCCI's love for Ranji........young guy playing Ranji final against the strongest team of this year would have been the perfect training....will he get this opportunity again?

Posted by z0mbiezom on (January 22, 2014, 0:37 GMT)

Surely Ranji final is more important that net practice for youth cricket. It's so frustrating seeing the BCCI's attitude towards their own domestic game sometimes.

Posted by nkoch on (January 21, 2014, 22:13 GMT)

That's insane. It's the damn camp, not the U19 tournament. Have some sense and set right example, BCCI!!

Posted by TimeKiller on (January 21, 2014, 21:48 GMT)

Why on earth does BCCI refuse to give Ranji Trophy the importance it deserves so often? They can make good money if they telecast all Ranji Trophy matches on TV and publicize it the way they publicize IPL. There are plenty of fans around the world who would watch it. What can be more important than Ranji Trophy for Indian Cricket? So many young emerging players, it's fun to watch them. Many matches this year were closely fought and generated so much thrill for the audience, played on sporting pitches assisting fast bowlers (even though we could only follow it online on CricInfo). The two teams in the final are good enough to give a though competition to Indian Test Team itself in a 5 day match on a fast Indian pitch or abroad and yet the wise men at BCCI dare to pull out a top player from the Ranji Final. When did the Under19-Worldcup become that important? Imagine the kind of confidence Zol would get from winning the Ranji Trophy. Is the training drill in NCA really better than that?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 21:46 GMT)

Bhave is right this is a stupid BCCI decision Elsewhere, especially in county cricket the local match gets preference

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 21:31 GMT)

Once again BCCI has proved where its failing to build champion cricketers. I agree that Country should come first before State Association but in this case I believe the young lad should have got the opportunity to play in the Final of India's most premier tournament. Its his debut season and it would have made wonders towards his overall development for the long version of the game. Camps are important and Zol being the Captain of the Team being all the more important that he works with the team to win the U-19 WC for India. Probably its time that the likes of Sachin, Kumble or Gavaskar head cricketing matters at BCCI and not Politicians.

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