The BCCI are currently mulling over the prospect of holding the Ranji Trophy in two stages. The illustrious competition was postponed due to the rising number of COVID cases in the country, which is battling the third wave of the pandemic.
The current edition of the Ranji Trophy was slated to start on January 13. The tournament was indefinitely postponed after several cases of COVID among the state camps prior to the start. With the IPL expected to begin from March 27, the conduction of the tournament would be difficult, but the board have already received several heartful pleas from the state associations.
Players like Jaydev Unadkat made their frustration over the lack of domestic cricket on social media as well. The BCCI reportedly held a meeting to address the meeting which was attended by the top brass including president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, and treasurer Arun Dhumal.
The decision to conduct the competition in two phases, the group stages in the February-March window and the knockout phase in June-July was reportedly suggested and considered.
“We are exploring the possibility of staging Ranji Trophy, cases were going up when it was postponed, now they seem to be coming down. The operations team is working on whether we can do the league stage next month and complete the rest of the tournament later [post IPL],” Dhumal told PTI after the meeting.
The Ranji Trophy was scrapped altogether last year due to the pandemic. The BCCI were only able to conduct the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Vijay Hazare trophy in the domestic circuit. The prolonged absence of red-ball cricket in the domestic arena could affect the pipeline of the players and the bench of Indian cricket in the coming years.
“The operations team will work out the logistics and factor in the weather, venue availability as well as availability of players. We are very keen to organise the tournament and that is why we are exploring all possibilities to stage it without compromising players’ safety,” Dhumal added
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