Post the IPL, cricket is continuing to capitalize on the momentum gained as international tournaments and domestic seasons begin again with fervor. The famed Indian Ranji Trophy is underway, with multiple star players opting to play the domestic tournament for various states, union territories and services. The teams are currently engaged in a fierce battle of wits to be the national victor. Famous commentators like Aakash Chopra have been following the tournament closely.
The Ranji Trophy is almost over, with the finals to be taking place between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra beat Uttar Pradesh in the semi-finals and Madhya Pradesh trumped West Bengal to secure a place in the finals. The team from Madhya Pradesh is being praised all over. The same, however, cannot be said about Maharashtra, as the team is drawing the attention of several critics, most recently, from Aakash Chopra.
The team from Maharashtra, in their semi-finals against Uttar Pradesh, made a huge total of 393 runs in their first innings. Uttar Pradesh, however, was able to manage only 180 runs before getting all out. Following this, in the second innings, Maharashtra went on to score 533 and eventually drew the match which could’ve been won with ease. The rules of the tournament state that in case of a draw in an important match, the team with the lead in the first innings shall be declared the winner. This made Maharashtra the official winner of the semis.
Aakash Chopra criticized Maharashtra heavily for this. In his opinion, Maharashtra could’ve won the match, but instead by playing out the innings and drawing the match, they’ve shown unsportsmanlike conduct and that he, Aakash Chopra, was disappointed in the team. Despite praising a few of their players, including Yashasvi Jaiswal for his tons in both the innings, Aakash Chopra felt like the team did not put any efforts to win at all. He said this was his main issue with the format of the Ranji Trophy. In Aakash Chopra’s words, why play if this is how results are to be decided? He questioned the logic behind such a rule. Aakash Chopra ended by declaring that this act from Maharashtra broke his heart.
Maharashtra will now take on Madhya Pradesh on 22nd June in the finals of the Ranji Trophy to decide which team takes home the famed Cup. Prithvi Shaw, who plays for the Delhi Capitals in IPL, captains the Maharashtra team.