The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BCCI may invite foreign team

Mumbai: The BCCI is likely to invite a foreign team for next season’s Duleep Trophy to make the tournament more competitive. “There is a likelihood of inviting a foreign team for next year’s Duleep Trophy, to be played on league cum knock-out basis,” former captain Sunil Gavaskar said.

The Duleep Trophy was played on a league basis this season with three teams from the Elite Group and two from the Plate Group of Ranji Trophy taking part.

Gavaskar said after chairing the Ranji Trophy captains’ and coaches’ meeting Friday: “As the English county season ends by September, there is a chance of the champion or the Bangladesh national team participating in the Duleep Trophy next season.

“We are planning to have the sixth team for the zonal championship so as to make the tournament more competitive, though nothing has been finalised,” Gavaskar, chairman of the BCCI technical committee, said.

Describing the meeting as “a very good interaction with captains and coaches,” Gavaskar said: “Everybody has contributed in a bid to improve the domestic structure with discussions on pitches, format of tournaments. Now the technical committee will take a final decision.”

The former opener also stressed that top players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid should participate in domestic tournaments. “However, it’s going to be difficult due to their heavy international commitments.”

The BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said: “The Board has decided to have such meetings annually as it was a big success with everyone getting a chance to voice his feelings. Most captains and coaches were satisfied with the double-tier Ranji format introduced last year. But they felt there has to be some adjustments in the points system.”

“Likewise, the Duleep Trophy is likely to revert back to the zonal format. The one-day games for Deodhar Trophy might be played under lights with colour clothing and white balls,” Dalmiya said.

“We also discussed the pay system for domestic cricketers. The international players who figure in domestic matches will get 13 per cent while the others, including juniors, will get 13 per cent of the Board revenues.”

The BCCI has decided to give away 26 per cent of the revenues to the players. However, not all earnings will be taken into account in determining the revenue. “The Board has also provided physical trainers for most of the associations apart from giving away Rs 11 to 15 lakh to each of them to improve the infrastructure. We have also asked the captains and coaches to send their reports on pitches as early as possible,” Dalmiya added.

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