Sourav Ganguly feels that the Ranji Trophy structure released by the BCCI for the upcoming domestic season can somewhat devalue first-class cricket. Ganguly heads the BCCI technical committee, which approved the inclusion of the North-Eastern states, Puducherry and Bihar during its meeting back in April. But the structure proposed by the technical committee wasn’t adhered to, when the domestic calendar was released.
“It has been done. So the people concerned will have to find a way to get around it. In the past, the Elite and Plate groups had been abolished, because it was felt that the performances in the Plate Group weren’t given enough recognition,” the former India captain told The Indian Express.
“I think, it’s because of the current situation in the BCCI (this has happened),” Ganguly added.
He, however, stressed that his committee was always in favour of integrating the North-Eastern states, Bihar, Puducherry and Uttarakhand into the Indian cricket mainstream.
“At some point, they had to start.” But the technical committee had proposed the introduction of Division B in the Ranji Trophy, incorporating the new teams in the lower division.
“When the level of cricket in the jurisdiction of a particular state reaches a certain level across formats and age-groups, promotion to Division A can be considered by the general body,” a cricket board official, who had attended the technical committee meeting, told this paper then.
The alternative proposal was to include the new teams in the top-tier without any bifurcation. The BCCI general body meeting on June 22 took a resolution that the Ranji Trophy would return to its erstwhile Elite and Plate groups format, with “all the teams presently playing Ranji Trophy shall play in the Elite Group” while the new teams like Bihar and the North-Eastern states “shall play in the Plate Group”.