Prominent players of the past, many of whom used the local premier tournament as a platform to announce their arrival, sympathized with the cricket team but also agreed with the unprecedented BCCI decision not to run the tournament for the first time since its inception in 1934-35.
“I sympathize with the players who may have felt but I think any decision taken by the BCCI will benefit everyone,” former Indian goalkeeper Chandrakant Pandit, one of South Africa’s best coaches, told PTI on Sunday.
The board has informed its affiliates that the reduced season will include the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the women’s one-day tournament and the Vinoo Mankad Trophy for boys under 19.
He said that he is glad there are at least two tournaments going on. He asks that Is it possible that the reduced Ranji Trophy could have been chosen? He said that he don’t know but BCCI, in the short term, also had to organize the Vinoo Mankad Trophy which keeps the U-19 World Cup in mind.
He also said that Ideally, he would like the Ranji Trophy to happen, no doubt about it. But obviously there are 38 teams, so many players, stadiums and all that, maybe mentally difficult, so he can understand.
But for someone, who is a true legend of Ranji, the absence of a national Prime Minister has an impact.
“I mean I’m still very sad after so many years, for the first time Ranji doesn’t happen, so obviously it’s going to be sad, especially for players who only play red ball format, they won’t play red – a football tournament for 18 good months,” Jaffer said.
But the BCCI has promised compensation for local players and that could bring financial relief.
Jaffer also added saying that that money comes in again after six to eight months, so the boys who rely solely on the money for the match and the family they support will face tough times.
However, another domestic tycoon Ashok Malhotra, who is also president of the Indian Cricketer ‘Association (ICA), feels that four months of Ranji Trophy in the bio-bubble would not be a stable idea.
He said that the BCCI has already discussed at its AGM that a compensation package will be built. He also recently made a BCCI comment on the Mushtaq Ali Trophy and he was in the bio room for two and a half good weeks.
Malhotra said that life is very difficult even in the years he was so just imagine if it made sense to put 800 home cricket in three and a half months of bio-bubble.
Bengal bowling coach Ranadeb Bose, a stand-alone hometown star, also had the latest experience of staying on the sidelines.
Bose said that he has been locked up in one hotel room for months. It is not mental health and he thinks that BCCI has done well in organizing the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
For Jaffer, who coaches Uttarakhand, the main goal was to reach the Elite Group this year but that will not happen now due to the break as there is no promotion or demotion in the white football tournament.
Jaffer said that the Ranji Trophy would have helped them to see where they (Uttarakhand) stand in red cricket but that will not happen. But from a good point of view, he is happy that cricket is happening, and that the players have something to play for.
But what about the Indian A nominees for the Ranji Trophy? Both Bose and Malhotra see that this is not a problem considering the top 20-22 cricketers in India.
Bose also said that let’s face it, and that you may have had one player, who could be considered as an A-team after one of Ranji’s best seasons and that some of them are regular players.
Malhotra cited the example of Abhimanyu Easwaran, who, despite not having a single season in the last 50 years, is still an independent Indian due to his previous performances.