Rahul Dravid has called for greater space between games in India's domestic season in order to enable players to give their best, and increase the possibility of more outright results. Dravid, who is currently in Bangladesh for the two-Test series, said the frequency of matches and consequently, the lack of breathing space, was a reason for the numerous draws the Ranji Trophy witnessed.
"Since the domestic season is very cramped, the teams don't want to tire their bowlers by trying to go for an outright win," Dravid was quoted as saying by Outlook. "The amount of cricket we play at the domestic level needs to be looked into. It might mean cancelling one or two tournaments, so that there's a proper gap between the Ranji Trophy games.
"Maybe the spacing of the Ranji Trophy games could be a bit better to give the players a bit more rest between the games."
Karnataka would have missed Dravid in the nail-biting final against Mumbai, as they lost by six runs while chasing 338. Dravid had to join the Indian team in Bangladesh for the Test series. He said though the Ranji Trophy was missing national players, they too needed a break, given the hectic schedule. "Some are playing all the year for India, it's not easy. You need a break," he said.
Dravid backed the concept of neutral curators to encourage more outright results in the competition and said it was also beneficial for the long-term development of first-class cricketers. "Some people may play safe because they don't want to lose outright," he said. But local associations must understand that if they want to develop good cricketers, they need their state players to play on good wickets. They might lose some matches, but in the long run they'll benefit.
"I like the concept of neutral curators and the board is giving them a direction. And, to be fair, the quality of the wickets is improving."
The thrilling final was received brilliantly in Mysore where crowds flocked in big numbers for each of the four days. On the final day, given the tense encounter, those who couldn't get tickets were seen sitting on terraces and trees outside the venue. The lack of time, Dravid said, could have been a reason for poor attendances in the previous games.
"It's not that people are not interested," he said. "They still follow the scores religiously; it's just that they don't have the time, which is understandable.
"It'll be a good idea to have AIR [All India Radio] do live radio coverage of the games. They'd be surprised to see how many follow the games, especially their own state teams."