BCCI Apex Council Meeting: Full fledged Ranji Trophy from next season; Duleep Trophy, Irani Trophy also on cards

Xtra Time Web Desk: A full-fledged Ranji Trophy will be back in place from the next season while the BCCI is mulling the revival of Duleep Trophy and Irani Trophy as well. The BCCI Apex Council on Thursday discussed various options for the 2022-23 season with Board President Sourav Ganguly announcing that a full domestic season will take place in 2022-23.

The prestigious Duleep Trophy and the Irani Cup have not taken place for at least three seasons, while the BCCI had to cancel the Ranji Trophy for the first time in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last season, the BCCI held a curtailed Ranji Trophy season.

The Board is mulling to start the men’s senior season with the Duleep Trophy, which is likely to be played from September 8. It is also considering to host the Irani Cup from October 1-5.

Earlier, the Duleep Trophy used to be contested between five zones on a knockout basis but later it became a three-team affair with the top two sides advancing to the final after the round-robin format.

In Irani Cup, the current Ranji Trophy champions take on the Rest of India squad. The options to host Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Ranji Trophy were also discussed.

While the Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T20) could take place from October 11, the Vijay Hazare Trophy (ODI format) is expected to take place from November 12.

The Ranji Trophy could start from December 13, while its knockout matches could be played from February 1.

According to one of the formats discussed during the meeting, there could be four groups of Eight Elite teams and one group of six plate teams in Ranji Trophy. So, each team would get to play at least seven matches like earlier times in the Group stage. In order to win the Ranji Trophy, a team will need to play a minimum of 10 matches which makes the tournament more competitive.