The BCCI has decided to drop Ranji Trophy from this year’s domestic schedule and go on with the Vijay Hazare Trophy ODIs and the Women’s T20s. Currently, hosting the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the board will is thinking to host the Vijay Hazare ODIs in February. In a major development, BCCI is also taking steps to host a T20 tournament for women in the same month as well.
The decision to not host the Ranji is a difficult one at that, considering BCCI President Sourav Ganguly wanted the tournament to go ahead – comes in the backdrop of Covid-related issues.
“We’re just being practical. Let’s face it – the pandemic still hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s here and our lives continue to remain dispossessed by it. There are 38 First Class teams and a bio-bubble of that degree is simply not possible,” say those in the know.
BCCI Emphasises Importance of Ranji Trophy Cricket
Meanwhile, the BCCI will pay their cricketers despite no red-ball cricket in the season, in association with the respective state authorities. The Ranji Trophy is the biggest source of income for domestic cricketers and not having a season of it does affect the players who are striving hard to make it to the national squad.
“That’s what the Ranji does. It produces red-ball talent year after year. That’s an area where Indian cricket has been hit, no doubt. But as much as we love our red-ball cricket, we also need to fear the horrors of this pandemic that has already done much damage. Let us hope that we have a long and healthy Ranji and Duleep Trophy next season, and relief from all this Covid-related mess in days to come,” says a senior BCCI official.
Meanwhile, the Mushtaq Ali T20 is scheduled to end on January 31, following which the Vijay Hazare one-dayers will begin. The schedule is expected to be out within the next two weeks.