The BCCI will not be conducting its premier first-class domestic tournament Ranji Trophy for the first time in 87 years as the parent body opted for the Vijay Hazare Trophy as per the wishes of majority of the state units.
The BCCI will also host the U-19 National One Day tournament for the Vinoo Mankad Trophy and the Women’s national 50-over tournament as per a letter sent by BCCI secretary Jay Shah to the state units.
While BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Shah were keen to have the blue riband tournament that pays the maximum match fee (Rs 1.5 lakh per game approx) for the players, it is understood that a two-month long bio-bubble even for a truncated two-phased Ranji Trophy in times of the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t feasible.
“I am extremely happy to inform you that we are going to conduct the Senior Women’s One Day tournament simultaneously with the Vijay Hazare Trophy and follow it up with Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-19. This has been decided after having received your feedback on the domestic season 2020-21,” Shah wrote a letter to state units, which is in possession of PTI.
It is understood that BCCI will probably follow the same groupings and bio-bubble for the Hazare Trophy that will start next month.
Ranji Trophy match fees
The BCCI during its AGM had decided that players will be compensated in case there is a truncated season and with players missing out on Ranji Trophy match fees, treasurer Arun Dhumal clarified that the premier domestic cricketers of the country will be taken care of financially.
Agreeing with his secretary’s view, Dhumal said that the decision to cancel Ranji Trophy this season was taken after taking every stakeholder into confidence.
“We took feedback from the players, selection committee, state associations. It was felt that 2020 is already gone and rather than having two Ranji events in the same calendar year, it is better to go for white-ball cricket,” Dhumal said.
“That way we could have something for junior cricket and women considering the importance of of Women’s World Cup and U-19 World Cup next year.
“Rather than having one tournament, we thought to have events in different categories,” said Dhumal, adding that players will be duly compensated for not playing Ranji Trophy this season.
Shah in his letter also spoke about how difficult it was to plan out the domestic calendar for the season in the post COVID world.
“As you are aware, we have lost a lot of time and consequently, it has been difficult to plan the cricket calendar on account of the precautions that are necessary for the safe conduct of the games,” Shah wrote.
Shah, in his letter, thanked the state units which successfully conducted the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.
“I write this with some satisfaction and whole lot of gratitude towards the state associations and staff of the BCCI for the successful conduct of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament so far after having delivered a flawless IPL earlier,” Shah wrote.
He also informed the members that preparations for the England series is in full swing.
“The preparations for the England tour of India which commences on 5th February onwards, are in full swing and there is a lot of excitement around it after the historic tour of Australia where, as you are aware, the team had performed miraculously under extremely trying circumstances,” he said.