The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has finally made a decision regarding the domestic league, with Ranji Trophy being scrapped this season and Vijay Hazare Trophy to go ahead as one-day event in February. The Ranji Trophy, held every year between October and February (depending on the schedules), happens to be the biggest source of income for First Class cricketers in the country.
According to reports, the Board has finally decided to not stage the Ranji Trophy this season, as it is close to impossible to organize the premier first-class tournament. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was among the top members of the Board who is in favor of hosting the domestic league. However, a source claimed that it is not possible to create a bio-secure bubble for 38 teams.
“We’re just being practical. Let’s face it – the pandemic still hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s here and our lives continue to remain dispossessed by it. There are 38 First Class teams and a bio-bubble of that degree is simply not possible,” a source revealed as quoted by a news agency. One of the biggest tasks for the BCCI is the logistics and mobility of the teams especially in times of COVID-19.
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However, with about 800 domestic players directly set to be monetarily benefitting from participation in the Ranji Trophy, the Board is looking to organize the 4-day format First-Class tournament over the next two months before the IPL 2021 begins. Earlier, the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy commenced in a bio-secure bubble.
“The Apex Council had a discussion on the issue. And Jay bhai was of the view that players earn more in Ranji Trophy as compared to Syed Mushtaq Ali. The livelihoods of domestic cricketers depend on the four-day game. The operations team has been told to go ahead and make a concrete plan for the Ranji Trophy,” a BCCI official said.
Last year, the governing body has presented State associations with four options for a shortened domestic season to all the respective State cricket associations. The four options are as follows: Only Ranji Trophy (option 1), only Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (option 2), both Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (option 3), both Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy (option 4).
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