Rajasthan cricketers coping despite being guilty by association

Last December, RCA revoked their ban on the state unit, and the caveats laid down by the national body was accepted in January by 31 of RCA’s 33 members.

Published: 09th February 2018 04:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2018 04:49 AM   |  A+A-

Aniket Choudhary is part of the Rajasthan cricket team | Photo: EPS

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Rajasthan Cricket Association’s (RCA) battle with BCCI has not been an easy one. Last December, the former revoked their ban on the state unit, and the caveats laid down by the national body was accepted in January by 31 of RCA’s 33 members.

The logistical chaos that their three-year suspension has brought in tow has also affected the life of Team Rajasthan’s cricketers. The only time the team has shown positive intent was when they finished as runners-up in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Though the side has the likes of Aniket Choudhary (in pic), Mahipal Lomror and Khaleel Ahmed — all of whom have done well in this domestic season — the team as such have not been able to pose a threat to their opponents. In fact, left-arm pacer Choudhary has even turned out for India A.

But their Ranji Trophy performances in the last three seasons have been far from impressive. In 2015-16, they played eight and won only two. The next season saw them win only one out of eight. The last season saw them sink to the bottom of Group B, without a single win to their name. A major reason for their failure that was cited by manager Vijendra Yadav was lack of match practice. “We got less time to prepare because we didn’t have any inter-district tournaments. We didn’t play outside Rajasthan. We just had 10-12 days before the tournament. It was challenging, but we had no choice but to fight the odds. But we were able to pull off a great performance in Syed Mushtaq. Though we didn’t win, we were happy that we put up a stiff fight despite not having an association to help us out.”

Team Rajasthan skipper was also of the opinion that a few camps before major tournaments could have helped them get back their rhythm. “It’s like being in a family without a father. We know we are playing under BCCI, but they don’t arrange training camps 15 days before the Ranji Trophy. There is no off-season practice.

“If we had camps before tournaments, we might have known what our boys are capable of. Then there might have been enough time to fine-tune it. But without that, when players get back just a week before the competition, they don’t meet fitness standards, nor do they have the necessary mindset. That 100 per cent preparation was not there. It made a big difference,” the 28-year-old explained.

Though the team lost both their matches in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy in Chennai, Choudhary said that his team was still upbeat, with their Syed Mushtaq outing serving as much-needed motivation. U-19 fast-bowling sensation Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s likely return in the near future may bring more succour to them.


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