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Zonal format for Ranji Trophy unlikely this season

There are plans to have six to eight teams in a group, with league matches of one group scheduled in one or two cities to minimise travel.

Published: 03rd August 2020 11:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd August 2020 11:19 PM   |  A+A-

Ranji Trophy, Cricket

Image used for representational purpose. (File Photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: In the restructuring of domestic cricket, Ranji Trophy, boys' U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy and the senior women's one-day championship are likely to be held on an all-India basis instead of zonal.

There will be groups with fewer teams than last season and the practice of home and away matches is likely to be done away with. This proposal will come up for confirmation in an online Special General Meeting (SGM) of the BCCI in a few days.

Date of the SGM is still to be finalised, but the board has started collecting details of state association officials to be in attendance. The BCCI has gone online to conduct Apex Council and IPL Governing Council meetings. The SGM will be the first meeting of a bigger scale to take this route. Discussing and finalising the domestic format will be on agenda.

There were talks that all tournaments will be held on a zonal basis, instead of having groups of nine or 10 teams, to reduce the number of matches. But according to a fresh proposal, the three tournaments mentioned will follow the existing format. Groups for these three events will not be as big as they used to be. There are plans to have six to eight teams in a group, with league matches of one group scheduled in one or two cities to minimise travel.

If the SGM approves this format, the board will look for venues with multiple grounds so that at least four teams can play all their matches in one city. New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram and some other cities have more than one grounds. These places can be chosen as hosts, since the system of playing at home and away will have to be discarded.

All other tournaments — boys' and girls' U-16, girls' U-19, men's and women's U-23 — will be played on a zonal basis. This means teams from the five zones and the Northeast will play in a league format among themselves. Qualification process for the knockouts is still to be finalised.


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