Nagaland captain Rongsen Jonathan is livid that his century in a Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019-20 match against Manipur stands invalid after the BCCI decided to reschedule that fixture due to harsh weather conditions.
The match which was held on September 24 along with many others were rescheduled after inclement weather in the host cities rendered a number of games across Groups A, B and the Plate group incomplete.
“Hurt, upset, annoyed, robbed,” Jonathan told ESPNcricinfo on Tuesday when asked what it felt like after being told his maiden List A century stands invalid.
Put into bat, Nagaland were reduced to 46/4. Jonathan entered at No.3 and remained unbeaten on 103. However, the playing conditions, according to an official, was “not unplayable if you were willing to fight”.
The match was called off because of rain after Nagaland bowled 8.4 overs. Jonathan alone had contributed more than 50% of his team’s total.
“Nearly 60% of the match was completed,” Jonathan said.
“I understand the decision to reschedule matches is taken while keeping the bigger picture in mind, but why should players be robbed of their records just because a result wasn’t possible? As players, we work hard, train all year round and, in the first match of the season, if somebody scores runs and it goes as a blank in his record, he is bound to feel hurt.
“I wrote to the BCCI, I asked for a clarification from Saba Karim [the BCCI’s general manager, cricket operations], but I haven’t received a response. It’s upsetting for individuals. It hurts all the more because cricketers from the north-east [of India] have so much going against them. When somebody in the local media reads about a century or a five-wicket haul, it really inspires young kids and more people to the game. But now when you have nothing to show, there’s little we can do.”
Nagaland have had three washouts, with only the game against Manipur, in which Jonathan made a century, set to be replayed on October 17.
The BCCI was left with no option. General Manager Saba Karim explained the plan was only to ensure they try and get in as many games as possible. “If we are revising it, the entire game has to be revised. There is no other way,” he told ESPNcricinfo.
“The reason we are rescheduling is because teams were not getting enough games, which they need to play. So, we are revising all those games, whether a ball has been bowled or some cricket has been played, and fresh numbers are going in. It’s better for the overall picture. This was unseasonal rain; it upset all our plans. The idea is to give teams as many games as possible at the start of our domestic season, which wasn’t possible because of the rain.”