The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is all set to miss the Ranji season for the second time in a row after the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) decided to work on their pitches soon after the fourth ODI against Australia scheduled to play on September 28.
Previous year also, the stadium missed out the Ranji season after the senior officials decided to relay the pitch. Naturally a paradise for the batter, the pitch turned out effective for the slower bowlers after the relay.
Vinay Mruthyunjaya, the official spokesperson of KSCA while talking to Cricbuzz said, “We are not re-laying the pitch, we’re just topping it up. “
Last year two matches were played at Mysuru while Alur and Hubbali hosted a game each. Mysuru will get a match this season as well while Shivamogga and Alur are in contention for the other two. “The first match (against Assam) will be held in Mysuru, a second one (vs. Hyderabad) in Shivamogga and the third one (against Delhi) will be in Alur or Hubbali.”
It is learnt that the second test between Australia and India in March earlier this year before the start of Indian Premier League earned a ‘below average’ rating from the match referee Chris Broad as the ball started turning right from the first day and for its inconsistent bounce could be a reason for working on the pitches.
“We wanted to take up this work after the One-Day International match. We had decided long back that it should be ready for next year. It was an old pitch. We had re-laid the outfield (last year) and we decided to rework the wicket this year. We wanted to provide a sporting wicket; looking at all angles – for the Test matches, ODIs, T20s – and we got good clay and soil this time so we thought of doing this. It requires three to four months (for completion), it should be fit for the IPL,” KSCA secretary Sudhakar Rao said. He also mentioned that this decision was taken a long time back.
While talking about bringing more crowds for the Ranji matches, Rao said, “We have a lot of options – Alur, Mysuru, Hubbali, Shivamogga, and Belagaum. We want to take the Ranji Trophy matches to the mofussil areas. You get more crowds there; they like to watch the Ranji Trophy matches. If current international players like [KL] Rahul, Karun Nair and Manish Pandey play, we can definitely expect some crowd there,”
Karnataka is placed in Group A with Assam, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad, Delhi and Railways for the 2017-18 Ranji season. They are scheduled to start off their campaign from October 14 at home.