The Ranji Trophy, India’s first first-class tournament, which could not be held last year due to the pandemic, is likely to be held before the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Indian council pays Rs 40,000 per day to players for the four-day Ranji Trophy matches, which is the main source of income for more than 800 national cricketers. BCCI have also given the green signal to host senior women’s games, but have yet to decide whether to move forward with junior cricket this season.
The Indian Express understands that at Sunday’s Apex Council meeting of the Indian Cricket Council, Secretary Jay Shah asked members if they preferred the 50-overs Vijay Hazare Trophy or Ranji tournament after the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 ended on January 31 . We learn that the Ranji Trophy could be a truncated affair, like the current T20 competition.
The board only has a two-month window to host their four-day competition as they want to launch the IPL in April. With more than two Covid-19 lakh cases still active in the country, the BCCI will need to make plans to hold the tournament safely.
“The Apex Council had a discussion on the matter. And Jay bhai was of the opinion that players earn more in the Ranji Trophy than Syed Mushtaq Ali. The livelihoods of national cricketers depend on the four-day game. The operations team was told to go ahead and develop a concrete plan for the Ranji Trophy, ”said a BCCI official.
With 38 teams playing Indian domestic cricket, logistics and mobility could be a big task. The board had seen verbal comments from state associations and many were keen to host the T20 and 50-over competitions. However, we learn that a few players have asked Shah to host the Ranji Trophy instead of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The hesitations on junior cricket are due to the bio-bubble situation, as the board believes it will be a more difficult task for this age group.