The domestic cricket season in India is expected to start in September and preparations have begun with the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) hosting a fitness camp for probables. THE NAVHIND TIMES caught up with Goa Ranji Trophy coach PRAKASH MAYEKAR to unravel the future
Q: What is the main problem faced by Goa since you took over as coach two seasons back?
The main problem is the unavailability of funds from BCCI. Without money we have not been able to go outstation for practice before the start of the season, as it is not possible to practice in Goa during the monsoons and we have not been able to get outstation players to be part of the team.
Q: Has the team started the season without practice during the last two years?
Yes. We used to practice in the GCA indoor nets and after practice in the nets we played straight on the turf. What the boys did was admirable because going from indoors to turf directly is not easy. We were pushed into those circumstances and we reacted. We did not shy away from our responsibility of representing Goa despite having little or no preparations.
Q: Do you foresee a similar problem this time too?
I have requested the managing committee to allot us three outstation players and schedule a months of practice out of Goa this year. I know they will try but I am not sure how successful they will be because it depends whether BCCI releases funds or not.
Q: Don’t you think by giving three outstation players, boys from Goa will miss an opportunity to play at the highest level?
One of the main problems our boys face is of competition. There is no competition and we do not have good bench strength in Goa. Players here score two fifties in a season and are confident of being selected in the next. This is not the truth elsewhere because there they have to keep performing every time. If they fail, there are hundreds of other players waiting for a call. This is not the case in Goa and this is one of the main problems faced in Goa.
Q: But how will outstation players help?
When you field outstation players, others in the team will have to increase the standard of their game and not take things for granted. They will realise that they will have to keep performing continuously if they want to be part of the playing team and the outstation players will also need to perform to be in the first eleven. In such a scenario the state will stand to benefit in terms of results on the field.
Q: The BCCI has decided to have the One day tournament before the start of the Ranji season. Will the change affect the boys?
If the boys are given a decent chance to prepare themselves, it will not affect them. Off course they will have to change from the white ball to the red ball and to different formats within a month. This is something the players can get adjusted to. The problem is they need practice before the start of the season out of Goa and the BCCI must understand this situation.
Q: What has been Goa’s strength- batting or bowling since the time you took over?
Batting has been our strength. The boys have been doing well with the bat and scoring constantly. There has not been much consistency in our bowling, though the bowlers cannot be overwritten for their performance.
Q: Are you suggesting that our bowlers need tweaking?
They need to get better for sure. We have a few bowlers who are young in the setup and through experience they will improve.
Q: Have you asked for outstation bowlers?
No. I have asked for a batsman, a bowler and an all rounder. But getting these three is just fixing one part of the problem.