BCCI apex council to discuss domestic season structure among other things on Friday

Despite the pandemic continuing to erupt across the nation, the apex council is set to discuss various issues that are critical for the BCCI’s functioning.

BCCI

The BCCI apex council is likely to do away with the under-14 and under-16 boys’ inter-state tournaments.   -  Getty Images

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) apex council on Friday is set to discuss the structure of what could well be the shortest domestic season in Indian cricket this century.

Despite the pandemic continuing to erupt virtually all over of the country, considering the lack of time on its hand, the apex council is set to discuss various issues that are critical for the BCCI’s functioning. Prominent on the 11-point agenda is No. 3, which states: “Discussion on finalising BCCI’s Domestic Cricket structure for 2020-2021 season”.

Conventionally, the BCCI finalises the domestic calendar in July. However, with the uncertainty surrounding outdoor activities and the need for protecting youngsters, the apex council may well decide to severely curtail the number of domestic tournaments.

At the moment, the BCCI is hoping for approvals to start the domestic season in December. It would mean at least one of the three inter-state championships will have to be abandoned for the coming season. Considering the focus on Twenty20 format due to global championships, the Vijay Hazare Trophy (50-over) could well be done away with for the forthcoming season.

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If the BCCI can start the domestic season in December, then the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T20) will be followed by a shortened Ranji Trophy. Depending on the format finalised for the Ranji Trophy, only the multi-day tournaments for Under-23 and Under-19 - Col. C.K. Nayudu Trophy and Cooch Behar Trophy, respectively - will be planned.

The apex council is likely to do away with the under-14 and under-16 boys’ inter-state tournaments. It will be interesting to see if it decides to revert to the old formula of under-15 and under-17 age-group for the following season to not deprive youngsters of opportunities.

Women’s cricket is set to suffer severely with a possibility of only the under-23 and senior women’s one-day tournament to be announced for the coming season.

Meanwhile, it is highly unlikely that the apex council will decide the Ranji Trophy format. “It all depends on the window in hand, so it’s too early to go into the nitty-gritty. The BCCI’s cricket operations wing has been coordinating with the private firm that has been involved in planning domestic calendar,” said a BCCI insider.

Other key issues on the agenda

  • To plan Team India’s international calendar till March
  • Tax-related matters for hosting T20 World Cup in India in 2021
  • Structure of payment of grants to new BCCI members
  • Progress of new NCA facility in Bengaluru
  • Procedure to appoint new BCCI employees, including the chief executive officer

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