Ranji quarter-final set to move out of Bangalore
The Ranji Trophy quarter-final match between Jharkhand and Mumbai is likely to be shifted out of the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in keeping with the BCCI's attempts to ensure none of the World T20 venues are "fatigued" ahead of the tournament.
While none of the other six World T20 venues has been allotted a Ranji Trophy knockout game, the KSCA has requested the BCCI to move the quarter-final out of Bangalore. KSCA secretary Brijesh Patel said it was done with a view to give the curators enough time to prepare the pitch ahead of the World T20.
"We are going to give rest to our wickets," Patel told ESPNcricinfo. "There is also the junior team which wants to have a camp here. We don't have enough time to prepare the wickets for the World Cup, so we have requested the board. We are waiting for the board to respond."
While the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore is slated to host three Super 10 matches, none of the other venues for the Ranji knockouts - Visakhapatnam, Valsad, Mumbai (Brabourne Stadium), Vadodara, Cuttack and Pune - has been allotted any World T20 games. The Chinnaswamy Stadium had also played host to ten matches in the Vijay Hazare domestic 50-over competition recently, including two quarter-finals, a semi-final and the final.
A BCCI source said the board was keen to make sure the pitches didn't suffer from the after-effects of a long cricketing season. "The World T20 begins after a whole season of cricket," the source said. "The idea is to rest the pitches and let them recover from fatigue so that they are ready for Twenty20 cricket. The BCCI is very keen to make sure the pitches are fresh and ready when the World T20 begins. That is why centres that are not hosting the World T20 have been given the Ranji knockouts, like Pune for example."
On the nature of pitches for the World T20, the source said the BCCI was intent on preparing pitches that were "conducive for T20 cricket." "It should allow for runs to be scored with good bounce and carry," the source said. "That is the specific instruction from the BCCI." It is understood that there have been elaborate discussions on the pitches and overall ground conditions, and preparations are expected to go on for the next two months.
Patel, while indicating that the match between Jharkhand and Mumbai would be televised, said the KSCA hadn't offered any suggestions of an alternative venue. The BCCI source, however said, Mysore was the likely replacement. Alur, another venue in Karnataka, hosted a number of matches in the Vijay Hazare domestic 50-over competition recently, but Mysore is considered better equipped to handle the logistical challenges involved in broadcasting a game.
Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo