Indian first-class cricket is in for an overhaul following the BCCI Special Committee suggestions discussed and recommended to the Working Committee, for approval by the Technical Committee.
Three groups of nine teams each will replace the Elite and Plate Groups format in the Ranji Trophy, apart from changes in the points system and playing conditions of one-day games in domestic cricket.
Sourav Ganguly heads the Technical Committee, while Anil Kumble is an invitee. Apart from Ganguly and Kumble, the Technical Committee comprises Roger Binny, Venkatapathy Raju, Shantanu Sugwekar (Maharashtra), Rahul Sapru (U.P.), Arup Bhattacharya (Bengal), BCCI vice-president Niranjan Shah and BCCI honorary secretary Sanjay Jagdale.
The recommendations are as follows: Ranji Trophy: Elite and Plate Groups will be replaced by three groups of nine teams each; Each side to play eight league matches and three toppers from Group ‘A' and Group ‘B' and two from Group ‘C' to qualify for the knock-out phase; Quarterfinals, semifinals and final will be five-day games.
In the Ranji knock-outs, if the first innings result is not obtained after five matches, the game will extend into day six; the winner will be decided by toss if result is not determined even at the end of the sixth day.
Points system revised: Six points for an outright win, innings victory or win by 10 wickets (one bonus); first innings lead, but no outright win (three); tie on both innings (three); first innings loss (one); tie on first innings without outright result (one); outright defeat (zero); first innings result not obtained with/ without weather interference (one point each).
Domestic one-dayers playing conditions: One bowler allowed to bowl maximum 12 overs; two bouncers permitted per over; no change in fielding restrictions outside 30-yard circle in non-powerplay overs.
Domestic competitions sequence: Duleep Trophy will be followed by N.K.P. Salve Challenge, Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy; Two Irani Cup games in 2012-13 season, Ranji Trophy 2011-12 champion Rajasthan vs. Rest of India in September after the Ranji 2013 final concludes, the new champion team to play Rest of India.
N.K.P. Salve Trophy will comprise the following teams from 2013-14 season onwards: Vijay Hazare Trophy champions of the previous season, two sides of 13 players chosen by the Senior Selection Committee.
Under-22 side renamed: Each under-22 side will be called the ‘A' team of the association. Players below 25 years of age as on September 1 of the year the season starts will be eligible; Three Ranji Trophy players (playing XI in ongoing season or preceding season) can be fielded in each game; Under-16 ties in the knock-out stage will be four-day games.