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Cricket news - India Domestic Season 2019-20 - News Digest

Vidarbha are the two-time defending champions of Ranji Trophy

Cricbuzz introduces a rolling coverage for the Indian Domestic Season 2019-20. You can find every information about the different tournaments in this dynamically updated news item.

Easwaran replaces Tiwary as Bengal captain (August 30)

Abhimanyu Easwaran is set to be the new Bengal captain for the upcoming domestic season. The selectors had initially mulled the idea of split captaincy, with Manoj Tiwary as the leader in the shorter formats (Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali meets) and Easwaran in charge of the Ranji Trophy side. But Tiwary himself felt that Easwaran should lead in all the formats and promised him full support.

Rayudu set to play for Hyderabad again (August 30)

It took just 58 days for Ambati Rayudu to make a U-turn on his retirement. Rayudu wrote to the Hyderabad Cricket Association's CoA that he was available for selection for all formats. "I (Ambati Rayudu) would like to bring to your kind notice that I would like to come out of retirement and play cricket in all formats," he wrote. Subsequently, the HCA CEO put out a release saying, "This is to inform you that Ambati Rayudu has withdrawn his announcement of retirement and has made himself available for the shorter format of the game for HCA in 2019-20."

KP Bhaskar returns to Delhi (August 30)

KP Bhaskar has been appointed as Delhi's coach yet again after guiding Uttarakhand to the top of the Plate division last season. Bhaskar's previous stint with the team ended with a war of words with the then Delhi captain Gautam Gambhir, who had accused him of breaking the morale of the young players in the side, soon after Delhi lost the final of Ranji Trophy 2017-18. Mithun Manhas, who had coached Delhi last season, refused to continue in his role.

Uthappa to lead Kerala in shorter formats (August 28)

KCA confirmed that the Robin Uthappa will lead the Kerala team in the Vijay Hazare one-dayers that will begin next month. The former Karnataka player, who represented Saurashtra as a professional for the last two years, will also lead the state team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament that follows the Vijay Hazare. Meanwhile, KCA secretary Sreejith V Nair maintained that no decision has been taken regarding the leadership role in the Ranji Trophy. "We will evaluate Robin's captaincy once both Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournaments end. Ranji Trophy is beginning only in December. So we still have time to take a decision on Kerala's Ranji Trophy captain," he said.

Vinayak Samant re-appointed as Mumbai coach (August 26)

In a controversial move, the Mumbai Cricket Association re-appointed Vinayak Samant as the head coach. Samant had coached Mumbai to Vijay Hazare Trophy win last season, but came under scrutiny after Mumbai lost out in the group stage of the Ranji Trophy. As per Cricket Improvement Committee's recommendation, the offer was made to Sulakshan Kulkarni who declined it. According to a report in Mid-Day, Kulkarni was offered a contract of Rs 14 lakh when MCA had stated that the annual remuneration for the role would be for Rs 24 lakh. Samant, on the other hand, was given a contract of Rs 22 lakh, and he accepted the offer.

Karun Nair's roaring comeback (August 23-26)

Karun Nair's last first-class century came in 2017 - in the Ranji Trophy semifinal clash against Vidarbha. He shrugged off poor form with 99 in the first innings against India Blue and then scored unbeaten 166 in the second innings. India Red also booked a place in the final by bagging the first-innings lead.

Vinay Kumar moves base from Karnataka to Puducherry (August 20)

After a remarkable stint with Karnataka, pacer Vinay Kumar has decided to move base to Puducherry, signaling the end of an era in Karnataka cricket. Kumar, now 35, is best known for leading Karnataka to victories in the Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy and Irani Cup for two consecutive seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Kumar made his first-class debut for Karnataka in the 2004-05 season and has since picked 459 first-class wickets - the most by a pacer in the history of Ranji Trophy - at an average of 23.53. He also scored some handy runs down the order, as a first-class batting average of 21.45 and two centuries would suggest.

A damp start to the season (August 17-20)

Just half a day of play was possible between India Blue and India Green in the Duleep Trophy opener. The teams shared points after no play was possible because of rain and wet outfield on the remaining three days.

Pink ball experiment curtailed (August 6)

Apart from the final, none of the Duleep Trophy matches will be played in pink ball. For a tournament that was otherwise struggling for relevance, with matches getting washed off, regional affinity out of question, teams willingly playing out draws and flat and slow pitches on offer, the pink-ball experiment was its most relevant aspect. Now, even that's dusted. Explaining the reasoning behind the move, Saba Karim, BCCI's head of operations, told Cricbuzz, "At this stage, the national team is playing only red ball cricket. So we want even the players who are in the reckoning to play with a similar kind of ball, in a similar kind of environment."

Ranji Trophy to start on December 9 (July 3)

The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - the domestic T20 event - will be played between November 8 and December 1, in order to make room for IPL franchises to take a look at domestic talent before the next player auctions, which is usually held in December or January. Last year, SMA was held in February-March, long after the player auctions were done. Eight days after the conclusion of SMA, India's premier domestic tournament - the Ranji Trophy - will get underway on December 9, and go on till March, for the first time ever. The Duleep Trophy will kickstart the 2019 season, running from August 17 to September 8. This is set to be followed by the three limited-overs tournaments - the Vijay Hazare Trophy (September 24 to October 25), the Deodhar Trophy (October 31 to November 4), followed by the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament.

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