BCCI finalises Ranji schedule

The much-awaited Ranji Trophy schedule for the season 2016-17 was finalised by the BCCI on Friday with the national cricket championship slated to start on October 6.

As per the schedule no match of a particular group will be played at venues of the teams from the same group. No team will get to play at the same venue twice.   -  Prashant Nakwe

The much-awaited Ranji Trophy schedule for the season 2016-17 was finalised by the BCCI on Friday with the national cricket championship slated to start on October 6.

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The new format of the Ranji Trophy, according to Board sources, had been finalised almost two months back since the tournament is to be played at neutral venues. “The delay was caused because we had lot of technical issues to tackle which the Lodha Committee did not consider,” said the source.

The Lodha Committee had instructed the Board to field a combined team of the North-East States in the Ranji Trophy. “It was not possible because the North-East States did not have even 15 registered players. With great difficulty we have included them in the under-16 and under-19 categories,” the source added.

The ground realities that confronted the Board in the case of North-East team’s participation delayed the finalisation of the schedule. The entire exercise had to be redone but Chattisgarh found favour, having come through the ranks.

As per the schedule, no match of a particular Group will be played at venues of the teams from the same group. No team will get to play at the same venue twice.

Ten curators from the five zones have been instructed that the best playing conditions be offered. “No vested interest of the zonal curators means the players will get the best of pitches to compete on,” said the Board source.

The exercise was tough but the technical experience of the Board officials saw them through.

PTI adds:

Group A and Group B will have nine teams each in the 28-team event. Three teams from each of Group A and B and two sides from Group C will reach the quarterfinals to be held from December 17-21. The semifinals will be held from December 27-31 and the final will be played between January 7 and 11.

The one-day competitions - Vijay Hazare Trophy (50 overs) and the newly-proposed inter-zonal T20 tournament for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - will be played after the completion of the Ranji Trophy.

Ranji Trophy 2016-17 groups:

Group A: Mumbai, Baroda, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal, Gujarat,Tamil Nadu, Railways, Uttar Pradesh

Group B: Saurashtra, Odisha, Delhi, Maharashtra, Assam, Vidarbha, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jharkhand.

Group C: Hyderabad, Haryana,Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Services, Goa, J&K, Andhra, Chhattisgarh.