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Ranji Trophy: BCCI to host tournament in two phases, explores venues

“In the first phase, we plan to complete all matches of the league stage while the knockouts will be held in June,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

Published: 28th January 2022 12:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2022 12:55 PM   |  A+A-

Ranji Trophy

Representational Image (File photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: With pressure mounting from several quarters, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to host the Ranji Trophy. Ever since this newspaper reported last week about the board’s intentions to cancel the premier domestic tournament for the second successive season citing a short window, pressure has been mounting on the BCCI from several quarters to host the Ranji Trophy.

As a result, it was forced to call for an emergent meeting on Thursday, January 27, 2022. And on Friday morning, BCCI secretary Jay Shah in a statement revealed that this season’s Ranji Trophy will be held in two phases. “The Board has decided to conduct the Ranji Trophy this season in two phases. In the first phase, we plan to complete all matches of the league stage while the knockouts will be held in June,” Shah said in a statement.

The BCCI’s cricket operations team is now exploring the host cities. As per BCCI’s original schedule, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum and Chennai were in line to host the Ranji Trophy. However, there could be changes to it keeping the Covid load in some of these cities. With Mumbai being a front-runner to host the IPL, the BCCI has to free up the venues and hence have to look at other cities.

Similarly, Ahmedabad and Kolkata are in line to host the upcoming limited-overs series against West Indies in February. So it is not clear if these cities will be considered as hosts. The other options on the table are Surat, Baroda, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam with the BCCI expected to announce a new schedule soon.

“My team is working closely to mitigate any kind of health risk caused by the pandemic, while at the same time ensuring a highly competitive red-ball cricket contest. Ranji Trophy is our most prestigious domestic competition, which has been providing Indian cricket with an enviable talent pool every year. It is absolutely important that we take all necessary steps to safeguard the interest of this premier event,” Shah added.

With regards to the knockout stages, the onset of monsoon in June will rule out the possibility of hosting the matches in the western and northern parts of the country. Hence, Chennai and Visakhapatnam are front-runners to host the knockout stages which are likely to begin soon after the IPL finishes. 



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