The BCCI has pushed back the start of the Ranji Trophy by seven weeks from its original date, November 16, to ensure enough red-ball preparation time for the 38 teams. The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will be played between October 27 and November 22, before the Vijay Hazare Trophy begins on December 1.
The move comes after requests from multiple associations had been made, seeking more practice time ahead of the Ranji Trophy. India’s premier first-class competition will now be played between January 5 and March 22, with 38 teams slotted into six groups: five Elite (six teams each) and Plate (eight teams).
As per the revised domestic calendar, the two senior men’s white-ball competitions will be played before the Ranji Trophy. The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will kickstart the men’s domestic season and will run from October 27 to November 22. The Vijay Hazare Trophy will be played between December 1 and December 29.
The Women's U19 One-Day competition and the Vinoo Mankad Trophy will run between September 20 and October 18, followed by a four-team Challenger Trophy.
In an email to the state associations, the BCCI has stated that each team can have a maximum of 30 members, comprising at least 20 players, while the number of support staff has been capped to 10. The teams have also been asked to appoint a physician, over and above the support staff for covid-19 related emergencies.
"The pandemic has been tough on all of us, we have all had to make some hard decisions that have kept us from playing a full-fledged domestic cricket season in India. On behalf of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), we thank all our state associations, administrators, match officials, coaches, and athletes, for their patience and understanding," BCCI secretary Jay Shah told the state units in a letter, reported Cricbuzz.
The Board also plans to host the Under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy in November-December, the dates for which will be announced later.
Revised Domestic calendar:
1. Women's Under 19 (One-Day) -September 20 - October 18
2 Vinoo Mankad Trophy -September 20 - October 18
3. Men Challenger Trophy (U-19 ) - October 26 - November 9
4. Women Challenger Trophy (U-19) - October 25 - November 6
5. Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy -October 27 - November 22
6. Senior Women's One-Day -October 20 - November 20
7. Men's State A One-Day - November 9 - December 10
8. Vijay Hazare Trophy -December 1 - December 29
9. Senior Women's Challenger Trophy -November 26 - December 8
10. Ranji Trophy -January 5 - March 20
11. Cooch Behar Trophy (Men's U-19) - November 21 to February 2
12. CK Nayudu (Men 4-day, U-25)- January 6 - April 2
13. Senior Women's T20 -February 20 to March 23
14. Vijay Merchant Trophy (Men U-16 ) -November-December