India's domestic season could start from January 1
The 2020-21 Indian domestic cricket season is expected to commence on January 1. Notably, the season will likely comprise only the Ranji Trophy and a senior women's tournament, which will be played in bio-bubble due to COVID-19 pandemic. The BCCI's Apex Council met on Saturday to discuss the domestic calendar, that had faced the wrath of coronavirus outbreak. Here is more.
Sourav Ganguly informs about the tentative schedule
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the plans to conduct the domestic season is on. "We have had extensive discussions on domestic cricket and we have tentatively decided to start the competitions from January 1, 2021," Ganguly told PTI from Dubai. "We will start with the Ranji Trophy and then we will also have the other tournaments between March and April."
What are the proposed changes?
In usual circumstances, the domestic season would have begun in August, this year. However, in a delayed season, all matches will be organized in cities that have at least three grounds, sufficient hotels, and enough hospitals. Meanwhile, no spectators will be allowed at the venues.
A committee will monitor the logistics
A committee will be constituted for monitoring the logistics, regarding the tournaments. "This committee will travel to all the probably cities and check the arrangements and then submit a report he said," an official said. "The junior level tournaments are out of the question, at least till March-April. We will discuss junior tournaments in maybe in February or March."
Ranji Trophy will be played in a revamped format
The format of Ranji Trophy will change from four groups, (the format in 2019) to a zonal format. This means the teams falling under each of the six zones will gather in one city for the league matches before the knockout round begins. The same format will be followed in the senior women's tournament if it gets organized eventually.
Domestic tournaments that concluded in 2020
The DY Patil T20 Cup was the last domestic tournament that concluded before the advent of pandemic, in India. Marquee Indian players like Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar participated in the T20 Cup. Indian Oil defeated Reliance 1 by 11 runs in the final. Previously, Saurashtra clinched the prestigious Ranji Trophy title by beating Bengal in the final.
India to tour Down Under this year
On the international front, Team India is expected to tour Down Under this year, to play three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests. Ganguly clarified that players will likely be allowed to train in Australia during the quarantine phase. "Cricket Australia has sent us an itinerary," Ganguly added. "We will be playing four Tests and that will end in the third week of January."