Monday, May 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Two-tier format for Ranji Trophy finds favour
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 11
The debate which began with the start of the domestic cricket season 2002-2003 questioning the logic and practical aspects of the newly introduced format for the Ranji Trophy championship this year appears to have finally settled in favour of the changes as another chapter of the history of India’s premier cricket tourney came to an end at Mumbai on Thursday last.

The opinion of the cricket fraternity reveals that the new two-tier format of the championship introduced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) by splitting the 27 cricket playing affiliated units into two divisions, namely `Elite’ and `Plate’, and organising their encounters irrespective of the zone they represent has generally been found acceptable.

Talking to NCR Tribune, Ajay Ratra, who has the distinction of representing India, said the new format added to the competitiveness, which was good for the health of the game in general. Ratra, who also captained Haryana in Ranji Trophy this year in some of the matches, expressed the view that the system helped the first class cricketers to perform in different zones right from the start of the session and from the initial round. Competition was stiff now, especially in Plate Division, as teams placed in this division, if they performed well would get promoted to Elite Division. He also admitted that it was tiresome for the teams to travel long distances to play their first round matches, which were earlier contested within the zone. However, the young stumper was in favour of continuation of this system.

A claimant of 345 Ranji Trophy wickets, Sarkar Talwar, who represented Punjab and Haryana in his long first class domestic career, also supported the new format. The ‘offie’, who was also a member of the title winning 1991-92 Haryana Ranji squad, told NCR Tribune that the new system gave an identification to a first class cricketer from one zone in another zone also as he got exposure in different conditions and different states from the first round matches. He said there was a system of promotion and relegation in the new structure which prompted the teams in Plate Division to perform well and get promoted to the Elite Division. Similarly, the teams contesting in the Elite Division had to work hard to keep their position. When asked whether the new format had affected the performance of North Zone teams Sarkar Talwar said, “No, I don’t think so. Delhi made it to the semi-finals. Similarly, Haryana also contested well but unluckily they could not make it to the next round.” Commenting on the extension of the session up to May, the former Haryana spinner recalled that Haryana had also won the championship on May 5 in 1992.

Anand Indoria, who imparts coaching to the youngsters at Vaish Public School Cricket Academy, praised the new format. However, he said it involved extensive travelling for the teams. The BCCI should also ensure smooth journey for the players from one zone to another so that they may perform well. He also said the BCCI should chart out the programme in such a way that international cricketers managed to get time to play domestic cricket to improve the standard of the game in the country.

Commenting upon the structural changes in the competition, Rajinder Goel, who has grabbed the maximum number of wickets (640) in Ranji Trophy, said in the earlier version the teams were aware of the weakness and strength of their rivals as they came from the same zone.

In the new structure, the encounters did not necessarily take place between the teams of the same zone. This had resulted in more competition and the game had become more interesting now. It gave an opportunity to the players to play under different climatic conditions, travel extensively and play against more and more players.

In the meantime, it is learnt that the BCCI has decided to convene a meeting of captains and coaches of all Ranji Trophy sides to have a feedback on the new format introduced in the year 2002-2003.



Sahara annex Shera Pandit cricket title
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, May 11
Air Sahara defeated Lal Bahadur Shastri Club by six wickets to annex the 12th Shera Pandit Memorial Cricket Tournament at the Mohan Meakins ground, Ghaziabad, on Sunday.

Air Sahara won the toss and put Shastri Club into bat. Their bowlers immediately got down to work to make the going tough for the Shastri Club batsmen. Rajan Gupta and Dileep T.T tried to put up a defiant show, scoring 43 and 30 runs respectively, but they could not carry on with their good work for long as they too fell prey to the deadly bowling of Sahara.

Umesh Chaudhary was the most lethal bowler, claiming four wickets for 26 runs, while Shashi Ranjan plucked three and Surendr Dayama two wickets, respectively.

In reply, Sahara’s job was made easy when Ashish Sharma cracked an unbeaten 68 while Shashi Ranjan contributed a well-made 60. Sahara accomplished the task with an over to spare.

Scores: Lal Bahadur Shastri Club: 180 all out in 40 overs (Ranjan Gupta 43, Dileep T T 30, Vishal Sharma 28, Umesh Chaudhary 4 for 26, Shashi Ranjan 3 for 41, Surender Dayma 2 for 40).

Air Sahara: 181 for 4 in 38.4 overs (Ashish Sharma 68 n o, Shashi Ranjan 60, Kapil Mehta 17 n o).



Sonnet sail away with DDCA A Division title
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, May 11
Sonnet Club defeated Food Corporation of India (FCI) by one wicket and sailed away with the DDCA Super A Division title at the Central Secretariat ground.
Though Damanjeet Singh hit a century and Rajender Bisth blasted 81, FCI could not take their first innings score to the desired level as Chetanya Nanda produced a devastating bowling spell to claim five wickets for 41 runs. FCI still managed to hoist a handsome first innings score of 323 for six off the allotted 60 overs, but collapsed like a pack of cards in the second innings despite yet another fine knock by Damanjeet Singh who scored 95.

Sonnet, who gathered 276 runs for 9 wickets in the first innings, made up in their second knock to emerge the champions.

Scores: FCI (1st innings): 323 for 6 in 60 overs (Rajender Bisth 81, Damanjeet Singh 110, Akash Malhotra 62, Chetanya Nanda 5 for 41). Second innings: 162 for 9 in 30 overs (Damanjeet Singh 95, Sanjeev Kohli 33, Deepak Joon 2 for 26, Gaurav Tyagi 2 for 35).

Sonnet Club (1st innings): 276 for 9 in 30 overs (Saket Bhatia 68, Mayank Sidana 60, Deepak Joon 35, Yogesh Sachdev 4 for 60). Second innings: 211 for 9 in 30 overs (Suhail Sharma 41 n o, Naresh Jain 42, Saket Bhatia 32, Akash Malhotra 3 for 28, Iresh Saxena 3 for 46).



Ankit bowls DAV School to victory
Our Sports Reporter

New Delhi, May 11
A searing bowling performance by Ankit Dabas, who collected four wickets for 35 runs, was the highlight of DAV School’s (Shalimar Bagh) 120 runs victory against Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Academy in the first Harry Cup Cricket Tournament at the Central Secretariat ground. DAV School moved into the semi-final.

In another match, Salwan Boys School beat Ramjas Day Boarding School by nine wickets, also to enter the semi-final. Yogesh Nagar scored an unbeaten 79 to star in Salwan’s victory.

Scores: DAV: 234 for 9 in 30 overs (Tarun Sharma 75, Sahil Chugh 29, Rajat Jain 28, Abhimanyu Singh 3 for 55, Nikhil Mehndi Ratta 3 for 41).

Shyama Prasad Academy: 114 all out in 21.5 overs (Tanuj Kapoor 41, Navjot Singh 34, Ankit Dabas 4 for 35, Pawan Chauhan 3 for 35).

Ramjas Day Boarding: 156 for 8 in 30 overs (Jagdev Singh 45, Anubhav Deewan 35, Tauseef Ahmad 3 for 14, Ritesh Kumar 2 for 17).

Salwan Boys: 157 for 1 in 27 overs (Yogesh Nagar 79 n o, Shobhit Kaushik 44 n o).



76 complaints received at open durbar 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 11
As many as 76 public complaints were received in 86th open durbar organised by the district administration at the BDPO office in Ganaur and presided over by the city Magistrate, Mr Anil Sharma.

All subdivision-level officers of various departments, including the SDM, Ganaur, Mr Jeet Singh Mehra, and the DSP, Mr Om Prakash, were present in durbar.

In the durbar, Surat Singh of Moi-Majri village urged the administration for removal of encroachments on village ponds, cremation ground, phirni, wells etc.

Angrezo of Bari village demanded the immediate release of a power connection. Similarly, the Sarpanch of Bhora Rasulpur village, Mr Karan Singh, asked the administration for replacement of old electricity wires and poles in the village streets in order to avoid any untoward incident.

He also demanded installation of one more transformer to improve the power supply in the village.

Ramesh of Kami village complained of large-scale encroachments in the village and apathy of the department officials in initiating action on removal of encroachments. Suresh Chand of Kheri Taga village complained of supply of substandard wheat to the BPL families under the public distribution system.

The officers concerned of the departments were directed to initiate necessary action immediately and intimate the progress made to the administration.


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