It was worthwhile. It was also an excuse to bump into some old pals and renew memories. As far as the main agenda items ere concerned, it did go on well. The key task areas were identified and all the main points were touched upon. Emphasis was laid on promotion of junior cricket and selection of junior teams.
The job of a selector from now (I hope) should be a paid job, and they can only be held accountable when they are compensated for their time and effort. The zonal system could be done away with, but that has been a concept for a long time and it might take some time for the BCCI to eradicate that procedure.
The revamp of the Ranji Trophy was highly commendable. The format from now could be that the top 10 teams play the elite on a round robin format, and the remaining teams could be divided in to three zones and the top team from each zone go on to progress to the top tier for the ensuing season and the bottom three from the elite slip to the lower rung. This can throw up some tight competition and produce some better and importantly well-prepared cricketers. The wickets would hold the key, though; the condition of wickets will have to be made truer so performance correctly reflects the players standing.
The A-tour concept was mooted mainly because younger players can do away with their fear when they encounter bouncier tracks and bowler-friendly conditions, and they feel at home when the travel with the senior side.
The NCA has been identified as the supply source - not it was not doing it earlier - the role only gets bigger now. Each zone will have a facility that would measure to the standards set by the NCA and work will also start on each association having their own indoor facility.
I stuck to my stand on an 'Indian' coach and was happy to see my good friend and opening partner Ravi Shastri appointed as the cricket manager for the tour of Bangladesh. I am sure it is the first of the many good moves the BCCI is going to take. A review meeting has been proposed every three months and the board is considering it.
Only when I came back out of the meeting did I realize there is to be a match on between South African and Bangladesh. The Proteas are far ahead on paper, and should wallop the next best Asian hope. It is a game of glorious uncertainties but this match looks not to fall in to that trap.