The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has presented State associations with four options for a shortened domestic season to all the respective State cricket associations. The governing body plans to to kick-start domestic cricket in a bio-secure bubble environment, by December 20 at the earliest.
“The BCCI will have to create a total of six bio-secure hubs across the country. The 38 teams will be divided into five Elite groups and one Plate group. The Elite groups will consist of six teams each while the Plate group will have eight teams,” read BCCI Secretary Jay Shah’s email sent to the governing body’s 38 regional units, as accessed by a sports publisher.
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). All the cricket associations have been instructed to select their choice and submit it to the board by December 2.
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As per the provisional plan, Mushtaq Ali T20s would be a 22-day event, Vijay Hazare would take 28 days and the Ranji Trophy would be a 67-day affair. “The BCCI will have to create a total of six bio-secure hubs across the country. The 38 teams will be divided into five Elite groups and one Plate group. The Elite groups will consist of six teams each while the Plate group will have eight teams,” the email added.
According to the email, each of the six staging cities will need to have a minimum of three digital broadcast-friendly venues. Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Puducherry, Vadodara, Surat, Nagpur, Indore, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata are some of the venues which are being shortlisted. The email also details that the BCCI plans to stage the tournament/s in “six bio-secure hubs.”
Pondicherry has offered to host the Ranji Plate Group matches while Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Indore, Nagpur, Kolkata, Baroda, Rajkot and Chennai are among the many others being considered as bio-secure venues. In September, t Association of Pondicherry (CAP) became the first association in India to resume its cricketing activities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
For now, there is no plan to resume domestic women’s cricket and junior cricket. Earlier, the BCCI hints cancelling all domestic cricket this season due to the spike of coronavirus cases in India, according to reports. Last month the BCCI apex council targeted January 1 as the start of domestic cricket. The final decision will be announced within this week.
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