No Duleep Trophy in 2017-18 season
The premier domestic tournament, Duleep Trophy has not been included in the final draft of the BCCI's domestic cricket season. In the past as well, accommodating Duleep Trophy was becoming a challenge for BCCI, and now the board has finally decided to drop it for the 2017-18 season. The domestic calendar for the upcoming season was confirmed by BCCI's acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary.
Indian cricket's domestic season to start in October
The 2017-18 domestic season of the Indian cricket will start with Ranji Trophy from 6th October and will end with Deodhar Trophy one-day tournament in March 2018. The two tournaments will have a maximum gap of two weeks.
Choudhary contradicts his own statement
On 31st July, Amitabh Choudhary had confirmed that Duleep Trophy will be played with pink ball as a day-night tournament like last year. A member of BCCI's technical committee said, "There must be some confusion. It was understood that the tournament will go ahead. Strange that the tournament and fixtures committee has overlooked it."
Duleep Trophy losing popularity due to unavailability of top players
Duleep Trophy was also dropped in 2015-16, but the tournament was somehow squeezed in the calendar last year and was played during monsoon season. The tournament is losing its relevance since national level cricketers are not able to play owing to busy international schedule. Interestingly, Gautam Gambhir was included in the Indian test squad last year after his performance in Duleep Trophy.
Conflict with the international calendar
Indian team has a busy home season this year. India will play Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in back to back series, starting September. Since around 30 will not be available for the tournament, the board might have decided to drop it all together.