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My dream for Indian cricket reader Rahul Dixit offers his thoughts on how to improve Indian cricket:

Any country's international team reflects the quality of its domestic cricket infrastructure. If Australia is the best team in the world it is a reflection of Cricket Australia's high standards in their domestic competitions.

So in order to improve Indian cricket internationally, we must first improve domestic cricket. Here are some ideas:

Change our current zonal and domestic competitions into a private league similar to English football premiership: The English premiership has the best players in the world playing in it, and against good competition, local talent learn fast and come up to high standards early in their careers. The premiership is privately funded and owned, with players receiving good salaries, and prize money being big. In a country like India, I can see a similar league taking off. However, the BCCI will probably not like this, as it reduces their control over things. The Indian Cricket League, which is about to take off, I hope develops into something like this over time.

Full Coverage: The future of Indian cricket | Dravid is not a born leader: Geoff Boycott | Do a rethink, India: Border | John Wright on India's Mission Resurrection

Imagine this: Hundreds of privately owned teams in the Indian league stratified across division 1, 2, 3 and 4. In the top league, have about 20 teams. Get international players from all over the world in them (rope them in by paying them big money). Have local talent there (say, about 50% international 50% local players). This way, local players will get exposure to high standards straightaway. A lot of international players seem to be running to England for such experience at a domestic level, why not create conditions in India so that everyone runs to India instead?

Change the pitches: A third of the pitches should be pacy, bouncy, seamy wickets; a third should be spinner friendly; and a third should be batting friendly. By having a variety of different conditions, we are enabling our batsmen to practise and cope with all types of conditions they may face overseas.

Make a bowler the captain: Bowling is not emphasised in Indian cricket traditionally. But, bowlers win you matches, not batsmen. Look at the topwicket-takers in the world cup – they were either Australian or Sri Lankan. Is it a coincidence that the only time India won a World Cup was when a bowling all-rounder was captain? Also, a bowler captain is more likely to have an idea of setting fields for other bowlers (being one himself) and also how to use his bowlers. Batsmen can then just focus on batting instead of captaining also, which is more natural to a bowler (who is thinking of field settings as he bowls anyway). Having a bowler captain may influence team mgmt to pay more attention to bowlers, and thus balance the attention currently overwhelmingly given to trying to get batsmen into form.


And here are the experts' points:

Sunil Gavaskar:

Reduce international matches to get the stars to play more domestic cricket

BCCI should select the best selectors for the senior and junior levels

‘Sporting’ wickets a must

India has the world’s best organised junior cricket

Frequent ‘A’ team tours to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England

Stakeholders, the Board, players, sponsors, media, etc. must work together

Allan Border:

1. Sachin Tendulkar has some years of cricket left in him

2. Indian situation similar to Australia’s in 1985

3. Select core-group and stick to it

4. Prefer ‘character’ / ‘fighting spirit’ over mere ‘skill’

5. Indian cricket has to be administered professionally


John Wright:

1. Zonal selection system must be abolished

2. International tours must be efficiently planned

3. Frequent ‘A’ team tours to New Zealand, South Africa and Australia

4. Fitness of India players a must

5. The Duleep Trophy should be given more importance


Geoff Boycott:

The Indian public should stop putting the cricketers on pedestals

Prepare bouncier wickets to foster fast bowlers and wrist-spinners

The batsmen must learn to adapt to different pitches

The Board must recruit visionaries

Find a reliable opening pair, a genuine all-rounder and paceman The captain should be in charge, not the coach

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