Despite uncertainty over Ranji season, teams are gearing up

By Khurram Habib
New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS)
While there still remains uncertainty over the timing of the start of Indian domestic cricket’s premier tournament, the Ranji Trophy, as there has been no official intimation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to the state associations, many of the states have started preparing for the Ranji season, following the strict norms laid down by not just the BCCI but also the local authorities.
Vidarbha, who won the Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy titles in 2017-18 and 2018-19, have had to send regular video clips daily to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to show that they are adhering to the norms.
They have been doing low-intensity training sessions over the last couple of days after conducting Covid tests for 60-70 players and coaches over the last week.
Up until the last couple of days, online training sessions were being followed.
Uttar Pradesh too has begun preparations and will soon complete the state selection trials towards the end of this month.
Yudhvir Singh, the secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) told IANS, “We have already begun selection trials in various districts and the selection trials for the Ranji Trophy team should end by November-end. We are going ahead with it keeping in mind that BCCI’s domestic season will start from January 1 next year. We will do it in Kanpur.”
Uttarakhand, on the other hand, had already started the camps for senior men and senior women prior to Diwali that fell on November 14. The association has been holding the camps in Dehradun.
Among others, Chhattisgarh and Baroda too have started the preparations for the season ahead.
Mahim Verma, the chief of the Uttarakhand association, said that they have gone ahead with the camps even though there has been no date.
“Many of the associations have started preparations. As far as the dates are concerned, we aren’t sure. But let us see,” he told IANS.
After completing his duties as batting coach of Kings XI Punjab, former India batsman Wasim Jaffer has joined as coach of Uttarakhand team and is now in Dehradun.
“I have joined the camp and the team has started training,” he told IANS.
The BCCI has laid out strict Standard Operating Procedure which lays the entire responsibility on state bodies for conduct of Covid tests and ensuring safety of the players.
Although no official date has been given by the BCCI for the start of the Ranji season, Board president Sourav Ganguly has been quoted as saying by sections of the media that they will start it in early January.

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