Don’t want wickets in Ranji where match ends in 2 days: Dravid

KOLKATA :  Former India captain Rahul Dravid was very critical of the pitches being prepared in the ongoing Ranji Trophy, where “getting six to seven wickets by bowling darts” has become the order of the day and said that it will prove to be detrimental towards producing “good cricketers”.
Dravid made no bones about the fact that such pitches like these are “waste of time, energy and money.”
Five matches in Ranji Trophy ending inside two days has certainly not impressed the India A and U-19 coach, who has been entrusted with the responsibility of guiding the next batch of talented cricketers.
“We don’t want green tops but also we don’t want wickets where matches finishes in two days and people who are bowling darts are getting six-seven wickets. I think we need to be very careful that we don’t go down that path,” Dravid spoke his mind on what he thought about the nature of wickets in Ranji Trophy.
While match between Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand saw 26 wickets falling in a day, Bengal skittled out Odisha for 37 on a strip which was termed dangerous by Odisha skipper Natraj Behera.
“Square turners, matches are finishing in two or three days. I really don’t think its good for the health of Indian cricket. Because if you think about it it’s a waste of time, energy and money,” the usually reticent Dravid, let everyone know his thoughts regarding the issue.
While he said that international cricket is a different ball-game, the Ranji Trophy should be the place where one prepares good players for future.
“It’s a little different at the international level since you are looking for wickets. But at least in the Ranji Trophy level we are looking to prepare players for the international stage. These wickets, what I have seen recently, is poor,” Dravid did not mince words.
While he carefully avoided the Bengal vs Odisha clash but it did come up during his media conference.
“It is disappointing. I don’t want to specifically mention the Bengal game just because I happen to be here. But all around in the Ranji Trophy this year, the teams are producing in my opinion poor wickets.”
“And if we keep playing on bad wickets like these, we are not going to develop and produce good cricketers. So I think we need to find a balance, we need to nip it in the bud. I am at least glad that the knock-out stage is at neutral venues. At least, we will see good wickets at the knockout stages.”
Dravid feels that while a lot of people advocate for home venues in ranji Trophy but preparing these kind of pitches only force BCCI to choose neutral venues for knock-out matches.
“A lot of people criticise and say Ranji Trophy should be at home venues but if teams are going to resort to doing these kind of things then I think its better Ranji Trophy is in neutral venues, at least in the knockout stage. We need to start forcing teams to start preparing good wickets.” (PTI)


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