BCCI proposes truncated domestic season with Ranji Trophy as an option; to make six bio-secure hubs

The domestic season might have six bio-secure bubbles to ensure safety of players.

The domestic season might have six bio-secure bubbles to ensure safety of players | TwitterThe BCCI has given the state associations four options of tournaments to choose from while proposing a truncated domestic cricket season in India.

The options are Only the Ranji Trophy. Only Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. Both Ranji Trophy and SMA T20s. Both SMA T20s and Vijay Hazare Trophy (domestic 50-over tournament) for the 2020-21 season and the associations need to submit their choices by December 2.

In an email sent on Sunday, the BCCI also listed the windows for the various tournaments with the SMA T20s triggering the start of the proposed domestic season. The BCCI has listed December 20-January 10 as the window for the domestic T20s. The Ranji Trophy will span 67 days starting January 11 through March 18. The Vijay Hazare Trophy has been proposed between January 11 and February 7.

‘We have tentatively decided to start domestic cricket from January 1, 2021’: BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly

The SMA T20s have been put as a priority is only because the 2021 IPL is scheduled to start between late March and early April. Also, the BCCI is considering adding at least one more team to the IPL, which may result in a mega auction taking place in January.

In the email signed by board secretary Jay Shah on Sunday, the BCCI said that it would create six "bio-secure hubs" to counter the challenge of travel and logistics during the pandemic. "The 38 teams will be divided into 5 Elite groups and 1 Plate group. The Elite groups will consist of six teams each while the Plate group will have eight teams," it read.

In the normal course, the Indian domestic season usually starts by late September, but that was not possible this year as the various state governments hadn't yet opened up sporting activities. With the country being one of the worst affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, the majority of sport and activities have been disrupted.

The announcement of three vaccines globally has injected confidence across the board, but the BCCI on Sunday said it would continue to rely on the Indian government for advice.

"Establishing a structure for a new competition during a pandemic has provided specific challenges for domestic cricket, most notably having the required medical personnel in place to handle stringent return-to-play protocols,” it said.

(ESPNcricinfo inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 29 Nov, 2020

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