The BCCI's technical committee, in an attempt to make the Ranji Trophy more exciting and competitive, has proposed to revamp the existing points structure. The committee has suggested doing away with points for the first-innings lead in games and awarding a bonus point each if a team reaches specified targets in batting and bowling in the first innings.
The other changes suggested by the committee, headed by former India captain Anil Kumble, include a revamp of the Deodhar Trophy, which is the zonal one-day tournament, and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which is the domestic Twenty20 competition for state teams. It was also decided to postpone the Duleep Trophy next year as it clashes with the World Twenty20 to be hosted by India in March 2016. The changes will take effect once ratified by the BCCI's working committee.
Under the new points system for the Ranji Trophy, a team can earn a bonus point each if it scores 300 runs in 85 overs and takes seven wickets in 85 overs in a first innings. Effectively a team stands to earn a maximum of nine points if it scores an innings victory or wins by ten wickets.
The other key decision the committee took was to modify the Deodhar Trophy, the zonal one-day tournament. The panel has proposed that the tournament now be contested between three teams: the winner of the Vijay Hazare Trophy and two teams picked by the national selection committee. It is understood that with the Deodhar Trophy modified, the BCCI has indirectly scrapped the NKP Salve Challenger tournament.
Of the recommendations, the change to the Ranji Trophy points structure is the most important as the issue has generated a lot of debate over the decades. Many different systems have been used but domestic teams continue to be predominantly conservative by opting for a draw and setting for three first-innings points. In Ranji Trophy 2014-15, 51 of the 108 league matches finished in draws.
It is understood that during his tenure as head of the technical panel, Kumble has been arguing in favour of introducing the bonus points to put the onus on the teams to go for victory. Kumble noted that teams were trying to take advantage of the first-innings points to hurt the opposition, but that only weakened the tournament.
"It was a fruitful discussion with an increased focus on strengthening domestic cricket. These recommendations are a summary of three major meetings, which includes the captains and coaches conclave and the technical committee meetings, this year. We hope that some of the measures suggested, will make domestic cricket more interesting and challenging," Kumble said in a media release.
The technical committee has also suggested that the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament should not be played on a zonal basis and teams should instead be clustered in four groups. It was also decide to "reformat" the Inter-State Seniors' ODI tournament
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo