BCCI Gives State Associations Four Options For Truncated Domestic Season
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BCCI Gives State Associations Four Options For Truncated Domestic Season

BCCI, Domestic Circuit,
It's a logo of the BCCI. Photo Credit: BCCI.

BCCI has given the state associations four options for a truncated domestic cricket season in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. The associations have been asked to revert back with their preferred option within December 2 after which the truncated domestic season will start.

In an email given to all the affiliates of BCCI, accessed by The Hindu, president Sourav Ganguly has specified the four options for the senior men’s domestic season.

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI
Sourav Ganguly. Image Credit: Getty Images.

BCCI Mentions Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy And Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy Are Viable Options For State Teams To Decide Upon

The first Ranji Trophy fixtures took place in the 1934–35 season.  The number of competing teams has increased over the years. Some states have more than one cricket team. There are also teams for Railways and Services. The various teams used to be grouped into zones – North, West, East, Central and South – and the initial matches were played on a league basis within the zones.

Later, the zonal system has been abandoned, and a two-division structure has been adopted with two teams being promoted from the plate league and two relegated from the elite league. If the knockout matches are not finished, they are decided on the first-innings lead.

Named after the prolific Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare, Vijay Hazare Trophy was started in 2002–03 as an attempt to bring the limited-overs game among a greater audience. The competition involves the state (and other) teams from the Ranji Trophy battling in a 50-over format.

Ranji Trophy
Ranji Trophy- Image Courtesy: BCCI

BCCI launched its own state structure in 2006-07 season with 27 Ranji teams divided into 5 Zones with the name of Inter-State T20 Championship which was renamed and relaunched as the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

The options given to the state associations are:-

Option 1: Only Ranji Trophy

Option 2: Only Syed Mushtaq Ali T20

Option 3: Both Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20

Option 4: Both Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and Vijay Hazare Trophy

BCCI Plans To Stage Domestic Tournament(s) In 6 BioSecure Hubs

The email also details that the BCCI plans to stage the tournament/s in “six bio-secure hubs”.

“The BCCI will have to create a total of 6 bio-secure hubs across the country. The 38 teams will be divided into 5 Elite groups and 1 Plate group. The Elite groups will consist of 6 teams each while the Plate group will have 8 teams,” the email states.

The BCCI chief has added that the Ranji Trophy will require 67 days, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 22 days and the Vijay Hazare Trophy 28 days for completion. The proposed windows for the competitions are January 11 to March 18 (Ranji), December 20 to January 10 (Syed Mushtaq Ali) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (January 11 to February 7).

Saurashtra lifts maiden Ranji Trophy in last season.
Saurashtra lifts maiden Ranji Trophy in last season 2019/20. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Each of the six cities staging the domestic cricket trophies will have to have at least three digital broadcast-friendly venues, according to email.

This is the first concrete step towards the BCCI organizing any competitive cricket in India since the Ranji Trophy final concluded on March 17 with Saurashtra winning it for the first time. In August, president Sourav Ganguly had sent out a non-committal advisory to all the State associations while the BCCI apex council last month had targeted January 1 as the start of domestic cricket in India.

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