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BCCI looking to host Group stage of Ranji Trophy before IPL 2022: Reports

The Board for Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is mulling over holding the league phase of the primary First-class tournament before the IPL kicks off and host the knockout stage post its commencement.

Ritesh Pathak Author

Updated - 24 January 2022 10:50 am

The COVID-19 situation in India is worsening with every passing day and posing a big threat to cricket tournaments in the country. While there is still uncertainty around the venue for the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League, the BCCI looks all set to start the tournament from the last week of March. But before that, the Indian Cricket Board is keen on holding the Group Stage of the Ranji Trophy which was postponed due to rising COVID-19 cases in India.

According to a media report, the Board for Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is mulling over holding the league phase of the primary First-class tournament before the IPL kicks off and host the knockout stage post its commencement. A senior BCCI official claimed that the board is considering two options for the conduct of the tournament, either go back to the zonal format or stick to the previous formula of playing the tournament in neutral bio-bubbles.

“Provided the covid situation stays in control, we’re keen, hopeful, and trying our best to organize the Ranji Trophy. If we start the Ranji Trophy by, say February 10, we can complete the league phase in a month, well ahead of the IPL. The knockouts can be played post the IPL. We are thinking of two options: Either go back to the zonal format, to prevent teams from traveling too much, or we stick to the previous formula of playing the tournament in neutral bio-bubbles, as was originally planned,” TOI quoted a BCCI official.

Also Read: BCCI sets January 31 as deadline for name announcement of new franchises: Reports

The board divided over conducting the tournament amid surge in COVID cases

The BCCI called off a few of the domestic tournaments keeping in view an exponential rise in the COVID-19 cases. The 2020 edition of the Ranji Trophy was also cancelled due to COVID-19 which affected so many domestic players. That’s the reason the board is keen on holding the tournament.

However, the board looks divided with a few members skeptical about conducting the tournament in such a dire situation.
In the same report referred above, TOI also quoted one of the members saying, “It will be very risky. Even if one player is infected and slips into a serious condition, the BCCI will be blamed for it. Cricket can’t be more important than life. Better to organize the Ranji Trophy post the IPL.”

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