Apathy plagues Duleep Trophy

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:05 IST

A Duleep Trophy league match was played in Gurgaon on the outskirts of Delhi, but it just ended up exposing the flaws of domestic cricket in India.

Gurgaon:
While a new format was introduced in the Ranji Trophy to help make domestic cricket more competitive, even the Duleep Trophy added a gesture a€" allowing foreign participation in the form of the England A team. However, ground realities dona€™t seem to have changed for domestic cricket, which seems to have fallen on bad days. A Duleep Trophy league match was played in Gurgaon on the outskirts of Delhi, but it just ended up exposing the flaws of domestic cricket in India. While the scores told a story of their own, even the players complained that they were treated like a€œsecond ratea€ citizens. a€œYou can see for yourself that nobody cares for domestic cricket. The domestic circuit has become more of an annual formality,a€ cribbed Narendra Hirwani, a member of the Central Zone team. Little interest None of the five National Selectors were present for the game a€" and that, no doubt, was a huge dampener for the players who are desperate for a chance to get noticed and make it to the national side. a€œAt least one of the selectors should have been here. But I guess they have very busy schedules,a€ said Gagan Khoda, Captain, Central Zone. The flat and dead pitches are also a cause for concern a€" just 14 wickets fell in the Duleep Trophy so far while more than 900 runs were scored. No wonder Indian players feel ill at ease either bowling or batting on pitches like the WACA at Perth. a€œI don't think that I will even be able to take any wickets on this pitch. I have seen many batting tracks but this one does not even bounce,a€ said Hirwani, a former member of the National squad. However in all fairness to the BCCI, several attempts have been made to improve the lot of domestic cricket. The Duleep Trophy this year has England A competing as well, but clearly, its early days yet.

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