Hyderabad demoted from Ranji Elite group

HYDERABAD: The writing was on the wall. After being a whisker away from being relegated in the last three seasons, Hyderabad finally got demoted from the Elite division of the Ranji Trop

Published: 19th December 2009 08:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2012 09:57 PM   |  A+A-

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HYDERABAD: The writing was on the wall.

After being a whisker away from being relegated in the last three seasons, Hyderabad finally got demoted from the Elite division of the Ranji Trophy with another pathetic show. The twice Ranji Trophy champions exited from the Elite Group A league with seven points to finish at the bottom of the seventeam table. Hyderabad will play in the weaker Plate Division in the 2010-2011 cricket season.

This was not expected by the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) that is celebrating its 75th year. Steeped in rich tradition and producing cricket greats from late Ghulam Ahmed, M L Jaisimha and present cricketers like Mohammad Azharuddin, Shivlal Yadav, Venkatapathy Raju and V V S Laxman, Hyderabad was always considered one of the teams to reckon with. “Hyderabad was always a fierce competitive team. They have rich history behind them. Sadly, they are being relegated,” said W V Raman, former Test player and now coach of the Tamil Nadu team.

Raman is, however, confident that Hyderabad will be triumphant next season.

“We were on the verge of relegation a few seasons ago but we came progressed with better planning. Karnataka, too, were pushed to the Plate Division and this year they are playing brilliantly. It is nice to have South Zone teams like Hyderabad, TN and Karnataka performing well in domestic cricket as they are the supply line to national talent,’’ said Raman.

What went wrong then? P R Man Singh, former secretary of HCA, said he was not surprised by the result. “It was bound to happen. I had been constantly warning officials about the poor domestic cricket.

The local matches have been reduced to a farce. There is hardly any competitive matches and this has damaged Hyderabad cricket badly,” said Man Singh, who strongly advocated for the revival of Zonal Championship.

Former Ranji opener Vijay Mohan Raj feels that league system is all wrong and that has resulted in the present mess. “We have to spread the league. Most of the league matches are held in June and July.

There is hardly any cricket in A-Division (3-days) after that. A better planning is necessary to revive strong local tournaments,” said Mohan Raj. Mohan Raj said it was wrong to blame the selectors. “They chose from the available talent. The sad part is that there is not enough bench strength that can replace the out-of-form players. Therefore we should create of pool of players and train them for the season,” he added.

Most of the former Ranji players feel that the standard in local leagues has deteriorated.

According to M V Ramanamurthy, member of 1986-87 Ranji Team that won the National Championship, said there was no seriousness in the local league matches. “The league matches are of poor standard. The batsmen do not have proper technique or the temperament to stay at the crease while the bowlers lack the imagination or strength to take wickets. The medium pacers were hardly aggressive,” he said.

Ramanamurthy felt that wrong selection policy led to the downfall of Hyderabad team. “We saw too many changes in the team. That was one of the reason,” he said. He also felt Hyderabad did not go for the kill when they had an opportunity in the first match against Himachal Pradesh at Gymkhana ground.

N P Singh, chairman of selectors, said the players were selected on merit.

“We went about selecting players based on the performance in the local leagues.

The batting, which was our strength, let us down badly. It is sickening. Of course, the bowlers, too, were guilty of not bowling out the side. We lacked a quality spinner,” he said.

Coach S L Venkatapathy Raju, too, said the players lacked the application or determination to do well. “They get the best facilities and still they don’t perform. We had one century throughout the season. Do you think we can qualify with this type of batting display? They did not gel as a team,” said Raju.

Regarding T Suman, who was ousted after three matches, Raju said the opener lacked the team spirit. The same was the case with other batsmen like D B Ravi Teja. The lack of a good start resulted in Hyderabad’s disastrous show.

Wicketkeeper Abhinav Kumar, despite his poor show, continued to be in the team. Ibrahim Khaleel would have been a better choice. Arjun Yadav, who averaged 18.83 from four matches, was never inspiring or consistent. A former selector said Arjun Yadav gets selected despite poor performances every season.

“Even as other players get axed, he stays in the team. This is not good for the team,” said the former selector.

In the batting only, A T Rayudu, Anirudh Singh and Ahmed Quadri were the leading run getters. But they failed to get big scores or build big partnerships.

“We had one century throughout the season and that hurt Hyderabad badly. Most of the teams have ten to 12 centurions in the season,” said coach Raju.

Among the bowlers, medium pacers M P Arjun and Alfred Absolom were main wicket-takers. But they were not threatening enough. Sadly, after Raju, off-spinner Kanwaljit Singh and N P Singh, Hyderabad have not unearthed any quality bowlers.

But all is not lost. It is a rude awakening for Hyderabad. “We have talented and skilful players. It is a question of applying and picking the right combination.

It is not end of the world. We have to be positive and I’m sure Hyderabad will come up with a strong performance next season,” said R Sridhar, the under- 19 coach. The writing was on the wall.

After being a whisker away from being relegated in the last three seasons, Hyderabad finally got demoted from the Elite division of the Ranji Trophy with another pathetic show. The twice Ranji Trophy champions exited from the Elite Group A league with seven points to finish at the bottom of the seventeam table. Hyderabad will play in the weaker Plate Division in the 2010-2011 cricket season.

This was not expected by the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) that is celebrating its 75th year. Steeped in rich tradition and producing cricket greats from late Ghulam Ahmed, M L Jaisimha and present cricketers like Mohammad Azharuddin, Shivlal Yadav, Venkatapathy Raju and V V S Laxman, Hyderabad was always considered one of the teams to reckon with. “Hyderabad was always a fierce competitive team. They have rich history behind them. Sadly, they are being relegated,” said W V Raman, former Test player and now coach of the Tamil Nadu team.

Raman is, however, confident that Hyderabad will be triumphant next season.

“We were on the verge of relegation a few seasons ago but we came progressed with better planning. Karnataka, too, were pushed to the Plate Division and this year they are playing brilliantly. It is nice to have South Zone teams like Hyderabad, TN and Karnataka performing well in domestic cricket as they are the supply line to national talent,’’ said Raman.

What went wrong then? P R Man Singh, former secretary of HCA, said he was not surprised by the result. “It was bound to happen. I had been constantly warning officials about the poor domestic cricket.

The local matches have been reduced to a farce. There is hardly any competitive matches and this has damaged Hyderabad cricket badly,” said Man Singh, who strongly advocated for the revival of Zonal Championship.

Former Ranji opener Vijay Mohan Raj feels that league system is all wrong and that has resulted in the present mess. “We have to spread the league. Most of the league matches are held in June and July.

There is hardly any cricket in A-Division (3-days) after that. A better planning is necessary to revive strong local tournaments,” said Mohan Raj. Mohan Raj said it was wrong to blame the selectors. “They chose from the available talent. The sad part is that there is not enough bench strength that can replace the out-of-form players. Therefore we should create of pool of players and train them for the season,” he added.

Most of the former Ranji players feel that the standard in local leagues has deteriorated.

According to M V Ramanamurthy, member of 1986-87 Ranji Team that won the National Championship, said there was no seriousness in the local league matches. “The league matches are of poor standard. The batsmen do not have proper technique or the temperament to stay at the crease while the bowlers lack the imagination or strength to take wickets. The medium pacers were hardly aggressive,” he said.

Ramanamurthy felt that wrong selection policy led to the downfall of Hyderabad team. “We saw too many changes in the team. That was one of the reason,” he said. He also felt Hyderabad did not go for the kill when they had an opportunity in the first match against Himachal Pradesh at Gymkhana ground.

N P Singh, chairman of selectors, said the players were selected on merit.

“We went about selecting players based on the performance in the local leagues.

The batting, which was our strength, let us down badly. It is sickening. Of course, the bowlers, too, were guilty of not bowling out the side. We lacked a quality spinner,” he said.

Coach S L Venkatapathy Raju, too, said the players lacked the application or determination to do well. “They get the best facilities and still they don’t perform. We had one century throughout the season. Do you think we can qualify with this type of batting display? They did not gel as a team,” said Raju.

Regarding T Suman, who was ousted after three matches, Raju said the opener lacked the team spirit. The same was the case with other batsmen like D B Ravi Teja. The lack of a good start resulted in Hyderabad’s disastrous show.

Wicketkeeper Abhinav Kumar, despite his poor show, continued to be in the team. Ibrahim Khaleel would have been a better choice. Arjun Yadav, who averaged 18.83 from four matches, was never inspiring or consistent. A former selector said Arjun Yadav gets selected despite poor performances every season.

“Even as other players get axed, he stays in the team. This is not good for the team,” said the former selector.

In the batting only, A T Rayudu, Anirudh Singh and Ahmed Quadri were the leading run getters. But they failed to get big scores or build big partnerships.

“We had one century throughout the season and that hurt Hyderabad badly. Most of the teams have ten to 12 centurions in the season,” said coach Raju.

Among the bowlers, medium pacers M P Arjun and Alfred Absolom were main wicket-takers. But they were not threatening enough. Sadly, after Raju, off-spinner Kanwaljit Singh and N P Singh, Hyderabad have not unearthed any quality bowlers.

But all is not lost. It is a rude awakening for Hyderabad. “We have talented and skilful players. It is a question of applying and picking the right combination.

It is not end of the world. We have to be positive and I’m sure Hyderabad will come up with a strong performance next season,” said R Sridhar, the under- 19 coach.  

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