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Ranji: Tendulkar opposed to neutral venues

January 06, 2009 11:07 IST

Sachin Tendulkar is opposed to the use of neutral venues for the knockout stages of the Ranji Trophy after a rare appearance in the tournament by the leading batsman drew a very small crowd.

Playing his first national championship game for Mumbai in nearly two years, Tendulkar amassed 122 runs on Monday as part of a 232-run partnership with former India opener Wasim Jaffer in the ongoing semi-final against Saurashtra.

However, only a few spectators turned up to watch the game in Chennai, where the contest is being played after the Board of Control for Cricket in India introduced the neutral venue rule last season to prevent home teams preparing favourable pitches.

"I'm not in favour of neutral venues," Tendulkar was quoted as saying. "I feel either team should play at its home ground.

"As for the wicket, it should be monitored, which would be the case if a team is playing on its home ground.

"It is fun to have crowd supporting you at your home ground, and against you in away games. That adds to the intensity, people rooting for you, the atmosphere is just different."

Tamil Nadu, whose home ground is Chennai, are playing the other semi-final against Uttar Pradesh in Nagpur.

The BCCI has taken steps to generate more interest in domestic cricket. The Ranji Trophy knockout games are broadcast live, players receive higher fees and India squad members are encouraged to play when they are free of national duties.

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