Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Ranji Trophy to begin on February 10. Saurashtra won the Ranji Trophy the last time it was held
Saurashtra won the Ranji Trophy the last time it was held
The Ranji Trophy will begin on February 10, with the first phase of the competition to be played until March 15. The second phase of the two-phase tournament will be held from May 30 to June 26.
According to the schedule and format released by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), there will be a total number of 64 matches to be played in 62 days across nine centres. Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Rajkot, Delhi, Guwahati, Cuttack, Trivandrum, Chennai and a Haryana centre will host the two-phase championship.
As first reported by Cricbuzz on January 30, the 38 teams have been divided into nine groups – eight Elite groups of four teams each and one plate group of six teams. Chandigarh and Meghalaya have been directly placed in the Elite division.
As per the format, Elite teams in a group play against each other, while the Plate teams will clash with only three teams of their group. One team from each Elite group qualifies for the quarter-finals, barring one which will have to play a pre-quarter-final game. The lowest-ranked of the eight qualifiers of Elite teams will have to take on the top-ranked side of the Plate group in the pre-quarterfinals. The quarterfinals draw will be held after the pre-quarter-finals.
As is already known, the two phases will be played on either side of the IPL (from March-end to May-end) and the first phase will have 57 games. The knockouts will have seven games that will start immediately after the IPL. Kolkata will host the Plate Group matches. No team is being allowed to play at home, with all the matches scheduled at neutral venues.
As per the circulated format, a maximum a team can get to play is seven matches while minimum matches will only be three for at least 29 teams across Elite and Plate Groups.
“We have spread the Ranji Trophy to nine different venues, across the country to mitigate any cross-transmission risk while also ensuring that bio-secure bubbles are not overburdened. While the persistent virus has still breached the bubble we have factored in certain contingency plans drawing from our past experience while formulating this structure,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah wrote to the state units on Thursday (February 3).
Key Features of New Ranji Trophy season