Jagaul.com Gaming New Ranji schedule runs into a fog problem | Cricket

New Ranji schedule runs into a fog problem | Cricket

The first two rounds of the Ranji Trophy saw matches in north India severely curtailed due to fog and bad light. Delhi’s previous game against Jammu and Kashmir in Jammu allowed for only 42 overs of play across four days. Just three overs were possible on the first three days, which meant that no result other than a draw was feasible going into the final day. With even the first innings not completed, both teams had to settle for a point each.

The country’s premier first-class tournament kicked off on Jan

The country’s premier first-class tournament kicked off on January 5 and 12 of 32 games, most of them held in north India, across the first two rounds have been impacted due to fog and bad light.

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Through long spells of sitting in the dressing room in Jammu with prospects of play bleak, Delhi’s players were understandably frustrated. Having lost to Pondicherry at home in their opening game, Delhi find themselves languishing at the bottom of their group. “It’s not fair. It affects our chances of qualification for the next stage when you are not getting the full quota of overs. And sitting in the dressing room and not playing much for four days is frustrating,” players in the Delhi camp said.

In the fixture between Uttar Pradesh and Bengal in Meerut in the second round, an outright result seemed probable heading into the final day. Uttar Pradesh were 178/4 in their second innings with an overall lead of just 50 runs, only for the game to end in a draw after no play was possible on the fourth day.

Rajasthan also have reasons to be disappointed. Again only 42 overs were played across four days in their drawn fixture against Haryana in Lahli in their season-opener. Though their next fixture against Services at Palam here didn’t face as much trouble, roughly 15-20 overs were lost daily due to fog. Rajasthan coach Anshu Jain said matches in north India could be avoided at this time of the year. Their first two matches were away when Jain felt they could have got many more overs in had they played at home in Jaipur.

“If our matches in the north were in the second half in February and March, that would have been a better option. Two games have already gone. The teams playing in the north have suffered. If we had home matches at the start, it would have been easier. Everyone knows there is fog in the north at this time of the year,” said Jain.

Services skipper Rajat Paliwal echoed the Rajasthan coach’s views. “Till Republic Day, the weather tends to be like this in Delhi. The Ranji Trophy isn’t held earlier because the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy are staged before the IPL auction. But what can be done perhaps is to conduct the first three rounds in the west or south if there’s an option. In February, matches can be held in the north. I am hopeful that something is done about the schedule after this season. If the overs are less, it does impact the points. We can’t have outright results,” Paliwal said.

In response to the concerns raised by many teams, BCCI joint-secretary Devajit Saikia said: “Our line is very clear on this. The schedule for the domestic season was decided in May. The weather is something we cannot do anything about. If there is fog in north India, there could be rain in the south. This is a vast country. Just last week, the women’s one-day matches in Pondicherry were affected due to rain. We host around 2200 matches in a season and scheduling is a challenge. There will be something or the other in every part of the country.”

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