Mumbai: The Technical Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, headed by Sourav Ganguly, met at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, and discussed changes required for the domestic cricket circuit. Present at the meeting was Anil Kumble, member of the Special Committee formed by the BCCI, to give inputs to the Technical Committee.
Kumble said that the idea behind giving each team equal number of matches at home and away was to bring in more competition. "Teams will have an equal chance of making it to the top two of their respective groups," said Kumble. "We believe the home and away format gives that incentive to the state associations to organise four home matches in the centres they want. We will start afresh, which means previous hosting history will not be considered."
With there being nine teams in each group, one team will be free during every round of matches. While it is logistically challenging, the Technical Committee's suggestion was to ensure that the centre staging a Test match during that period will be the team not involved in action during that round. In doing so, the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th members of the state Ranji team could be a part of the Indian dressing room, freeing up the non-playing members of the Indian team and allowing them to play for their respective states during that particular Ranji game.
Kumble's presence in the meeting might have facilitated the suggestion that one bowler be allowed to bowl 12 overs in a 50-over game. "I'm glad it was accepted in today's meeting," said Kumble. "I believe that 12 overs for one bowler in the One-Day matches will not only provide a better contest between bat and ball but also bring in more room for strategising for the captains."
On the subject of quality of pitches used in domestic cricket, and the need to raise the standard, Ganguly expressed satisfaction with the debate during the meeting. "The emphasis will be on pitches, the BCCI Pitch Committee will visit every venue to make sure the pitches are good," said Ganguly. "We've suggested some minor changes; overall it's a simple game and let's leave it like that."
As was expressed by the Committee before the meeting took place, the purpose of the meeting was to ensure that the Indian team does well overseas. "The loss of eight Tests in a row has not been very good," said Ganguly. "So whatever amendments we made is to make sure we start playing well overseas. India will always play well at home."