The Ranji captains and coaches conclave that was held in Mumbai on Monday discussed a host of issues, the most important of them being the almost unanimous push from captains to revert to the three-group format.
That apart, the questions of pay hike of domestic coaches and contracts with retainership clauses for domestic players also came up, reported The Indian Express. Some coaches also reportedly raised the concern of pending payments of their daily allowances.
The coaches and captains, though, welcomed the Committee of Administrators' decision to revise the remuneration of domestic players. The latest pay structure will see a first-class cricketer earn Rs 35,000-a-day for a four-day match apart from a percentage of the BCCI's profits.
The meeting was also attended by Sourav Ganguly, the chairman of the BCCI's technical committee, Saba Karim, the board's general manager of cricket operations, and MSK Prasad, the chairman of the senior men's selection committee.
The 2017-18 season also had the Ranji Trophy reverting to the home-away system after BCCI’s experiment with neutral venues met with fair degree of criticism. The return to the tried and tested format was welcomed by the participants in the meeting.
“The home and away match format got a positive response. Everyone feels it is better than playing on neutral venues (which the BCCI tried in the 2016-17 season),” an insider present at the meeting told Hindustan Times.
Another important topic that came up for discussion was the implementation of Decision Review System (DRS) at domestic level. The technology will be used for the first time in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) after BCCI let go of its long-standing resistance.
This season also witnessed the use of SG balls in the 20-over Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy. The experiment failed to impress teams and they reportedly expressed the desire to go back to playing with Kookaburra balls, primarily because white Kookaburras are used in international limited-overs matches.
The issue of quality of balls was also raised as in past, domestic matches have seen balls being changed as many as three or four times in a single session, reported ESPNcricinfo. The website also quoted Mumbai captain Aditya Tare, who talked about poor umpiring in domestic games.
“When players do something wrong they are penalised for that. We are criticised or dropped following a bad performance. The umpiring has been an issue for many years now and something has to be done to ensure that certain standards are maintained. If someone is consistently having bad games as an umpire, then he could be made to go back to officiating in age-group cricket (to prove his abilities). That's what my suggestion was,” Tare said.