India’s domestic season, which was delayed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, commenced earlier this month in a bio-secure bubble with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. However, with the IPL likely to be played in the in March-April window, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) remained undecided about the fate of India’s premier domestic event, Ranji Trophy.
A decision regarding the event was expected to be taken at the BCCI Apex Council last weekend. However, the governing body could not find a consensus and gave its approval to begin women’s cricket season from March instead. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly remained committed to hosting Ranji Trophy while some members suggested that it would be advisable to host the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“The president remains committed to Ranji Trophy but a few others were not on the same page and wanted to host Vijay Hazare Trophy instead (50-over event). The operations team has been asked to work on the logistics for Ranji Trophy, which is obviously a much bigger challenge in the current circumstances,” BCCI official told a news agency.
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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).
“It will be either Ranji Trophy or Vijay Hazare and it will be decided by the end of this week,” the official added. The BCCI has previously approached Sri Lanka and South Africa to resume international cricket for the national women’s team, while the details of events are being discussed, with the Board currently in conversation with various overseas Boards.
“It is likely to be a full-fledged domestic season for women and there will be finally some cricket for our international stars with Sri Lanka and South Africa coming to India,” the official said. The meeting also opened a discussion on tax solutions, with the Board to continue to push for tax exemption by the government for the men’s T20 World Cup, scheduled in October-November.
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