The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has revised the domestic cricket schedule for the 2021-22 season. While the upcoming Ranji Trophy season will be played between January 5 and March 20, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is set to commence on October 27 and run until November 22. Meanwhile, the Vijay Hazare Trophy is slated to happen from December 1 to 29. Moreover, the women's one-day competition, which was set to get underway on September 21, has been postponed to October 20.
Why has the schedule been revised?
The schedule has been revised in the backdrop of several state boards making formal requests to the Indian cricket board to provide them additional time for tournaments. Notably, many of them were cancelled last year owing to the Coronavirus pandemic.
What will be the squad size?
It has been decided that every squad across all tournaments will have a maximum of 30 members and a minimum of 20 cricketers. The support staff members have been capped at 10 with the state boards advised having a physician who will oversee COVID-19 related concerns.
"The BCCI is working very closely with the government of India, state regulatory authorities, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that our sport achieves a collaborative solution. With this, there is a combined objective for a complete BCCI domestic cricket season 2021-22 to be played, enabling us to maintain the integrity of each competition," Board Secretary Jay Shah was quoted as saying.
"The restart date for BCCI domestic cricket season 2021-22 has been reviewed with all stakeholders, as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time. The BCCI will proceed with the full season of domestic cricket starting with Under-19 tournaments (both categories) in September 2021," he added.
How many groups will be there?
The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy along with the Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare trophy will all have Elite groups of six teams each as well as one plate group of eight teams. implying a total of 38 teams. Meanwhile, the men's state A one-dayers as well as the CK Nayudu, which will now be an U-25 tournament instead of U-23 will have five elite groups of six teams each and a plate group of seven teams. In both these tournaments, the elite groups will have each team play five matches while the plate group will see each team play six matches.
Elsewhere in the in the Cooch-Behar Trophy and the Vinoo Mankad one-dayers, both of which are U-19 tournaments, the senior women’s one-dayers, senior women’s T20 and the women’s under-19 one-dayers, there will be five elite groups of six teams each and one plate group of six teams.