Ranji Trophy champion Rajasthan will take on Rest of India in the Irani Cup, in the designated domestic season-opener for 2012-13. The match will be played at Jaipur from September 21-25.
This will be followed by the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy and Duleep Trophy in October. Vijay Hazare Trophy winner Bengal and two other squads shortlisted by the all-India senior selection committee will compete in the NKP Salve Trophy.
The Ranji Trophy commences on November 2. The groupings and new format are as follows:
Group A: Rajasthan, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh, Saurashtra, Railways, Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat.
Group B: Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Baroda, Delhi, Vidarbha, Odisha.
Group C: Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Services, Tripura, Goa, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam.
Three teams each from Group A and Group B, and two from Group C will qualify for the knockout stage in January 2013.
The fourth edition of the Raj Singh Dungarpur Corporate Trophy will be played after the Ranji Trophy final. This will be followed by the second Irani Cup tie, featuring the 2012-13 Ranji winner against Rest of India.
Subsequent editions of the Irani Cup will be played after the Ranji Trophy final of the same season.
The domestic season will end with the limited-over tournaments — inter-State one-day, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, inter-State T20 League and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Dates and tournament schedules will be announced next week and displayed on the BCCI website (www.bcci.tv).
Keywords: Irani Cup