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Ranji Trophy set to be cancelled

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The Ranji Trophy is set to be cancelled for the second successive season due to the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases resulting in lack of a window ahead of the Indian Premier League’s 15th edition. However, the BCCI is optimistic about staging the other major domestic tournaments.

The Hindu understands that considering the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases and the countdown for IPL, likely to begin on April 2, having already begun, it’s “all but curtains” for the premier domestic first class tournament.

“The IPL bubble will start around March 20 and at the moment, there seems to be no clarity over when the latest COVID-19 wave will start subsiding, so we will be stretched for time to organise the Ranji Trophy,” a BCCI insider said on Thursday.

The Ranji Trophy was set to begin on January13 but the third wave resulted in BCCI announcing on January 4 “postponement” of the Ranji Trophy, Col. C. K. Nayudu Trophy (U-25 men’s) and Senior Women’s T20 League.

It is understood that to stage the league stage of the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI will required 35 days. However, with the IPL bubble set to begin around March 20 for the tournament that’s tentatively set for April 2 start and the COVID-19 wave yet to peak, the BCCI authorities have informally started sounding off the associations to shelve the Ranji preparatory camps.

However, the BCCI is confident that the other tournaments, including the Cooch Behar (U-19 boys’) Trophy that had to suspended ahead of quarterfinals. “The other tournaments can even clash with the IPL, if required and we shall make every effort to host as much of domestic cricket as possible,” added the source.

The curtains of Ranji Trophy means the domestic cricketers’ will have to wait for almost a year more to play a domestic First Class game. The Ranji Trophy final between Saurashtra and Bengal in March 2020 remains the last domestic First Class tie in India.



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