Ranji players can now play eight matches in the league level

The new domestic format introduced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from this season has increased the self-confidence of the Andhra Ranji cricketers for they can not only play more matches but also stake their claim in various Indian teams by drawing the attention of the national selectors with their performances.

The BCCI bade goodbye to the existent Elite-Plate format by introducing three pools of nine teams each for the Ranji Trophy.

Three teams from first and second and two from third pool will qualify for the knockout after playing eight league matches.

“Earlier, teams from Elite Group were looked up and players representing Elite teams were preferred for international assignments. Performance by players from Plate Division often went unnoticed. Now all the teams were clubbed as one segment thus giving a chance to all teams, including weaker teams, to prove their mettle,” explained Andhra Cricket Association director (cricket operations) and former India wicket-keeper M.S.K. Prasad here on Friday.

He said eight teams would reach the knockout which would be played for five days instead of the present four days.

ACA secretary Gokaraju Ganga Raju felt that the new format would give an opportunity for the weaker teams to play against the stronger ones thus helping them sharpen their skills.

Mr. Prasad said that the under-22 team would henceforth be called as the ‘A' team of the association. “Players who are below 25 years of age as on September of the year in which the season starts, will be eligible to be part of the ‘A' team. Every team is allowed to field the Ranji Trophy players (those who have figured in the playing XI of the Ranji Trophy in the ongoing season or immediate preceding season) in each game,” he added.

New rule

The BCCI also introduced a new rule in the BCCI one-day fixtures by allowing the each bowler to bowl 12 overs instead of the mandatory 10 overs. “This rule is applicable to all the BCCI ODIs like Vijay Hazare, Challenger, Deodhar, under-19, senior and u-19 women tournaments,” Mr. Prasad said.

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