Cricket in State gets a big makeover

Emphasis laid on grooming youngsters for longer format

Announcing a slew of changes in the calendar of events, in formats and dates, the KSCA Tournament and Fixtures Committee chairman Venkatesh Prasad said that the schedule was subject to slight alterations, depending upon various national and international tournaments coinciding with KSCA events.

“It will take a year or two for us standardise the dates of events,” noted Prasad, flanked by committee members and State-mates Vijay Bharadwaj and J Abhiram. “What we noticed was that there was no proper flow of tournaments here, as in, all the BCCI tournaments would be over but we would still be playing our leagues. This was not serving any purpose, so we decided to schedule our leagues and tournaments in such way that the selectors had ample time and idea to pick the right players for the Board-conducted events.”

That the suggestion to change the Division II format came from Rahul Dravid wasn’t surprising. “We also noticed that we have been producing a lot of players with the ‘one-day’ mindset, be it bowlers or batsmen. We see no short-leg or silly point if a spinner is bowling and no slips or a gully if a pacer is operating. Similarly, we don’t have many batsmen capable of grinding the attacks. This was clearly the effect of too many one-day matches. In fact, Rahul came up with the suggestion to change the format and we found it the ideal way to go forward,” remarked Prasad.

The direct effect of the move, Bharadwaj pointed out, was that those who were playing just for fun have backed out, and teams have been left with players who want to pursue the game seriously.

Another major decision involves doing away with the two-day Diamond Jubilee invitational tournament. The meet has now been rechristened the Safi Darashah tournament and will be of four-day duration.

The KSCA plans to get at least one foreign team, five domestic sides (Ranji champions Rajasthan have already confirmed their participation) and field three teams of their own.
Among other changes, the committee has shelved phases for schools’ (U-16 and U-14) tournaments and instead divided teams into I, II and III divisions based on the previous year’s standings, while the SA Srinivasan memorial trophy will revert to the original under-25 from the present under-22 version.  Eves cricket too will witness a flurry of activity with the introduction of the women’s Safi Darashah and a T20 meet, besides league and schools’ tournaments.

Proposed calender of events: Apr 15-July 17: Group I, Division I, II Leagues; July 26- Aug 6: Group II (Division I League & Super League); Jul 29 - Aug 15: Safi Darashah (four-day games); Jul 13: KSCA Inter-zonal U-25 tournament for SA Srinivasan memorial trophy; Aug 1st week: Group I (Division IV League and Super League); Sept 1-15: Karnataka Premier League (T20); Jul 14 onwards: Schools’ tournament (KSCA Cup for under-16, BTR Shield for under-14); Oct 1 onwards: KSCA Inter-zonal for under-16; Oct 3rd week onwards: Group I, Division V league; Sept 3rd week onwards: Group II, Division II league; Nov 1st onwards: Group II, Division III league; Jan 15 onwards: YSR tournament (one-day format); Feb 2nd week onwards: KSCA T20 tournament for Clubs; TBA: The Hindu Trophy (T20 for Group II); Aug: Women’s League; End of Aug: Inter-collegiate tournament; June end: Girls’ inter-school tournament; Oct: Women’s Safi Darashah; Nov: Women’s T20.

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