Ranji Trophy postponed until January 5, BCCI revises 2021-22 domestic calendar
The 2021-22 Ranji Trophy was scheduled to begin on November 16 but has been pushed back to January 5 to prepare the sides more.
The prestigious Indian domestic cricket tournament Ranji Trophy is returning after missing out 2020-21 due to COVID-19 challenges. Last month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that the domestic season for 2021-22 would be played in a full-scale manner, unlike the last season.
The Ranji Trophy was initially scheduled to be played from November 16 but has been pushed back to January 5, reports ESPNCricinfo. The move was made to give the participating 38 sides more time to prepare for the tournament, having missed out on red-ball action for nearly a couple of years.
Some associations had put out a request for the same. Consequently, the BCCI has granted the request to reschedule it to a later date, and the tournament would now finish on March 20. Also, the Vijay Hazare Trophy has been accommodated during this phase, with Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy running between October 27-November 22, while VHT would be played between December 1-29.
Meanwhile, the format of the Ranji Trophy would also witness a significant change, as the 38 teams would now be divided into five Elite and a Plate groups. While the Elite would consist of six teams in each group, eight teams would be placed in the Plate. The second-placed sides from every Elite group and the Plate winner would play three pre-quarters matches to determine the top-eight.
However, some of the players have expressed their displeasure over the new format due to the reduced five games, which would reduce pay. The apex committee of the BCCI is expected to look into the matter for a possible increase in revenue. At the same time, the players also await answers from the board regarding the compensation from the last season.
Extra year for U-19 players
In the meantime, the U-19 players would get an extra year to prove their worth to make it to the ICC U-19 World Cup. Under the current BCCI rule, a player cannot represent in the U-19 department for more than four seasons, while the pandemic has forced BCCI to add an extra year.
Furthermore, the BCCI has indicated that the teams would not have more than 30 members, including 20 players and ten support staff. Also, the teams have been advised to hire a physician over support staff, keeping in mind the current COVID-related issues.
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