Champions Vidarbha became only the sixth team to defend the Ranji Trophy title this season. @ PTI

Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar has come down heavily on the BCCI for its scheduling of the Irani Trophy. Vengsarkar, who helped Bombay go past  Rest of India’s first innings total of 210 in 1957, reckons the Irani Trophy, which will get underway on Tuesday at Nagpur between Ranji Trophy 2018-19 champions Vidarbha and Ajinkya Rahane-led Rest of India, comes at a wrong time.

“What’s the point in playing the Irani Cup when the Ranji Trophy is just over,” Vengsarkar told MID-DAY on Monday. (ALSO READ: Chandrakant Pandit is passionate about coaching: Dilip Vengsarkar)

“Irani Cup and Duleep Trophy should be the curtain raiser for the season as they are the most important tournaments where players would like to display their form and fitness to stake a claim in the Indian squad for the season ahead. How does it help to schedule the Irani game just after the Ranji Trophy? It makes no sense to me and it defeats the very purpose. BCCI’s approach to get done with tournaments is questionable,” he explained.

The former chairman of the selection committee criticised the revamp of the Duleep Trophy which is no more a zonal event. (ALSO READ: Fitness, dogged attitude and the Che plan: Faiz Fazal reveals story of Vidarbha’s Ranji Trophy triumph)

“The BCCI has made a mockery of the Duleep Trophy by discontinuing the zonal concept to having teams like India Blue, Red and Green (picked by selectors) thereby closing the doors on genuine performers in the Ranji Trophy. I believe, last year, the players had no clue who their captain would in the next game and obviously there was no sense of belonging to the team. The BCCI must address this issue urgently in order to retrieve the importance of these two major championships that have provided a platform for many potentially great players in the past,” he said.

Champions Vidarbha became only the sixth team to defend the Ranji Trophy title this season. They beat Rest of India last year on the basis of first innings lead in Nagpur.