New Delhi: Ranji Trophy will be played in two phases – the league matches in the first stage while the knockout games will be in June 2022. The decision to resume the tournament was announced on Friday by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah.
“The Board has decided to conduct the Ranji Trophy this season in two phases. In the first phase, we plan to complete all matches of the league stage while the knockouts will be held in June,” stated board secretary Jay Shah.
The first part of the 38-team Ranji Trophy will be played before the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the second phase will be after the T20 league is over. So, the league matches will most probably start from the second week of February and get over by mid-March. The knowout stages will be played in June 2022, almost one month the IPL gets over.
India Ahead had on Thursday reported that Ranji Trophy, India’s premier domestic cricket tournament, will be back soon as the BCCI has decided to hold the Ranji Trophy in phases in the next few months.
Ensuring that all necessary precautions against the Covid-19 pandemic will be taken during the conduct of the tournament, Shah added, “My team is working closely to mitigate any kind of health risk caused by the pandemic while ensuring a highly competitive red-ball cricket contest. Ranji Trophy is our most prestigious domestic competition which has been providing Indian cricket with an enviable talent pool.”
The decision to restart the Ranji Trophy, which was suspended in 2021 due to Covid-19, was taken by the BCCI on Thursday. The board had suspended Ranji Trophy thrice – the first time in late 2021 and then twice in early January 2022.
The BCCI will announce the dates of the thrice-postponed 2021-22 Ranji Trophy soon. The tournament’s original date was November 16, 2021 to February 19, 2022. It was postponed and the new date for it to start was January 5, 2022.
It was postponed for the second time and rescheduled to start on January 13, 2022. But the BCCI decided to postpone the tournament yet again due to a massive surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.
The earlier schedule had matches across six cities – Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, and Ahmedabad.
A total of 38 teams take part in the tournament. Saurashtra had won the last edition held in 2019-20 defeating Bengal in the final.
With Covid cases rising, the BCCI had also postponed the Vijay Merchant Trophy (Under-16) and stopped the Coach-Behar Trophy (Under19) mid-way. The CK Nayudu Trophy and Senior Women’s T20 League for the 2021-22 season had also been postponed.