Here are few suggestions on how domestic cricket and test cricket can be revamped. First, lets take a look at domestic cricket and ways to refresh it:
- · The format of the Ranji trophy should be changed. It should have a league format without any finals. The winner should be decided on the basis of performances over 3-4 months of 8-10 matches. Such a format will push the teams for giving that extra to win match outright, rather than secure points on the first innings lead.
- · Every contracted player should be made to play atleast 3 domestic games in a season, unless he is injured. Domestic games tend to have poor following, and presence of an international player takes the crowd attendance from a few hundreds to a few thousands, thereby generating interest.
- · If the current format is sustained, then knock-out matches shouldn’t be decided on the basis of 1st innings lead; rather, providing an additional day to complete the match. Also the current points system needs a relook.
- · The matches should be scheduled in such a manner that the broadcaster should be able to telecast most matches. There shouldn’t be more than 2 matches on a given day, which allows the generic follower to keep himself updated easily.
- · Outstanding domestic performances should be rewarded with a scholarship, of sorts, to allow players to play a season overseas.
- · Atleast one national selector should be present at every first-class match, thereby discouraging any potential complacency in performances.
- · The number of teams playing the elite stage should be reduced and two teams should face relegation every season.
- · If possible, an abroad domestic side should join domestic competitions at the knock-out stage, if the current format is continued.
- · 5-6 hand-picked players (on the basis of performance) should be sent for intensive training program under the national coaches during the off season, whenever the national side is not playing.
- · Every venue should have a point system, which would depend on the number of results it produces (excluding weather) and the following season the matches should be allocated on the basis of the points earned.
- · Every state association should run fan contests and winners should be allowed to spend time with cricketers or something like that. Briefly, state associations should be encouraged to generate fan following.
These suggestions could be useful; or not. But they highlight the fact that a cricket follower will always find ways to associate himself with domestic cricket. The technical committee has a lot to think about, and you would expect positive recommendations coming out of a panel comprising of very astute minds.
Published with permission from The Spectator.