Cricket

BCCI proposes curtailed domestic cricket season for 2020-21

This is the first concrete step towards the BCCI organising any competitive cricket in India since the Ranji Trophy final concluded on March 17. File   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has presented State associations with four options for a truncated domestic cricket season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The associations have been asked to revert with their preferred option by December 2.

The options

In an email to all affiliates, accessed by The Hindu, BCCI secretary Jay Shah has specified the options for the senior men’s domestic season: Option 1: Only Ranji Trophy; Option 2: Only Syed Mushtaq Ali T20; Option 3: Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20; Option 4: Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The BCCI plans to stage the tournament/s in “six biosecure hubs”. “The BCCI will have to create a total of 6 bio-secure hubs across the country. The 38 teams will be divided into 5 Elite groups and 1 Plate group. The Elite groups will consist of 6 teams each while the Plate group will have 8 teams,” the email states.

The Ranji Trophy will require 67 days, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 22 days and Vijay Hazare Trophy 28 days for completion, BCCI states. The proposed windows are January 11 to March 18 (Ranji), December 20 to January 10 (Mushtaq Ali) and January 11 to February 7 (Vijay Hazare).

The Hindu understands that the BCCI is positive about starting the season with the domestic T20s to try out the “hub” and then extend it for the Ranji Trophy. The BCCI is also understood to be in touch with two top hospital groups for managing the biosecure hub.

According to the email, each of the six staging cities will have to have at least three digital broadcast-friendly venues. The venues that are being shortlisted include Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Puducherry, Vadodara, Surat, Nagpur, Indore, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Responses

It was confirmed that at least two associations had responded to the email by Sunday evening. While the Haryana Cricket Association isn’t keen on getting the season rolling in a hurry, the Arunachal Pradesh office-bearers have preferred only T20s to be staged.

A few State associations may request the BCCI to consider smaller groups — of five or four teams each — to restrict the duration of the tournament. However, it would result in increasing the number of venues, something that the BCCI isn’t keen on.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 1:06:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/bcci-proposes-curtailed-domestic-cricket-season-for-2020-21/article33204801.ece

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