BCCI Secretary Jay Shah on Friday said that the postponed Ranji Trophy will be held in two phases starting next month, clearing the decks for India's premier domestic competition to resume after being cancelled last season. (More Cricket News)
The decision to conduct Ranji Trophy is taken because the BCCI also plans to host the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 from March 27. Hosting two of India's biggest cricketing tournaments at the same time would not be possible practically as the players' availability would also be an issue.
It is expected that the 37-team tournament will begin in the second week of February and the first phase will continue for about a month. The Ranji Trophy, scrapped last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was scheduled to begin on January 13 but was postponed owing to the third wave of infections across the country.
“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,” Shah said in a statement.
“My team is working closely to mitigate any kind of health risk caused by the pandemic, while at the same time ensuring a highly competitive red-ball cricket contest.” Shah said that the BCCI understands the significance of Ranji Trophy.
The Ranji Trophy is the backbone of Indian cricket. The moment you start ignoring it our cricket will be SPINELESS!— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) January 28, 2022
“Ranji Trophy is our most prestigious domestic competition, which has been providing Indian Cricket with an enviable talent pool every year. It is absolutely important that we take all necessary steps to safeguard the interest of this premier event,” he said.
The BCCI announcement has come a day after its treasurer Arun Dhumal had said that the Board intends to host the event. Meanwhile, former India coach Ravi Shastri said Indian cricket would become 'spineless' if the Ranji Trophy is ignored.
"The Ranji Trophy is the backbone of Indian cricket. The moment you start ignoring it our cricket will be SPINELESS!," Shastri tweeted.