Top Indian players to test pink ball in Duleep Trophy: BCCI
The Duleep Trophy will be played under lights this year and will involve some big players.
BCCI's preparations for introducing India to day-night Tests are reportedly in full swing with the Duleep Trophy being looked at as a platform to test the pink ball. Breaking away from the regular trend, this year will see the biggest names in Indian cricket take part in the tournament as confirmed by the board. The main motive behind this move is the fact that they can prove to be the best critics of the new experiment and provide quality feedback.
Speaking about the development, BCCI president Anurag Thakur said, "All players will be playing Duleep Trophy; that is why we have gone for day-night domestic cricket for first time. We want to know how the player feels, how the dew conditions will be. With top players playing we will get a good feedback."
"We will come to know what advantages and disadvantages are of playing with pink ball. Before jumping straight away in Tests cricket these top Indian players will be playing it in Duleep Trophy. We will make sure that top cricketers participate in Duleep Trophy," added the new BCCI chief.
The decision has also been taken in an attempt to revive the inter-zonal tournament, which had started to lose its sheen over the past few years. It is scheduled to take place in the window between India's one-off Test against Bangladesh in August and the Test series against New Zealand in October.
Earlier, there were talks about an IPL-like tournament being organised during the vacant window. However, with a revamped version of the Duleep Trophy on the cards, it would be safe to say that we are unlikely to have a mini-IPL at least this year.
Anurag Thakur also provided more clarity on the players who will take part in the tournament. He said, "We will make sure that contracted players will be participating whosoever, qualifies to play. Aisa nahi hai ke Pawan Negi khelega as he is contracted player. (It’s not as if Pawan Negi will play). Jis player ka banta hoga those players will have to play Duleep Trophy. These Duleep Trophy games will help players a lot especially with long season ahead."