New Delhi, June 7 (PTI): Bengal have been placed in a relatively easy group of the Elite tier in the 2003-04 Ranji Trophy competition.
According to the groupings released today, which is yet to be approved by the BCCI technical and working committees, Bengal are in group B.
The other six teams in Bengal’s group are last season’s beaten finalists Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Hyderabad and Assam.
Traditional heavyweights Mumbai and Delhi, both of whom where in Bengal’s group last season, are in group A.
The BCCI has also said it will keep an eye on the matter of players deserting their home states to represent other states. “We will look into the matter if it develops. At present we would rather wait and watch,” the BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said from Mumbai.
The issue was raised by Nicky Saldhana of Maharashtra, who said it was a matter of concern that players belonging to teams in the Plate division are moving to teams playing in the Elite tier.
The BCCI treasurer Kishore Rungta said it was not easy for players to move over to another state since they invariably come under pressure in alien conditions. However, there have been reports that leading Maharashtra players Abhijit Kale and Hrishikesh Kanitkar might move to Rajasthan — the state unit where Rungta holds a top position.
Elite tier — Group A: Mumbai, Baroda, Andhra Pradesh, Railways, Kerala, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi. Group B: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Assam. Plate tier — Group A: Tripura, Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana. Group B: Saurashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Services, Goa, Orissa, Maharashtra.