BCCI rectifies knockout draw error

The qualification of Gujarat and Mumbai, the last year’s finalists, for this season’s Ranji Trophy knockouts has helped the BCCI paper over a blooper in the knockouts draw.

The BCCI announced the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal fixtures on Tuesday.   -  AFP

The qualification of Gujarat and Mumbai, the last year's finalists, for this season's Ranji Trophy knockouts has helped the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) paper over a blooper in the knockouts draw.

Soon after the conclusion of the league stage on Tuesday, the BCCI announced the quarterfinal fixtures, to be played from December 7. According to the schedule announced, Vidarbha, the group D topper, is slotted against Kerala, the second-placed team in group B. The arrangement, however, is in contradiction with the draw circulated by the BCCI among all the participating teams.

According to the booklet circulated, B1 was drawn against D1 while B2 was scheduled to play D2 in the quarterfinal. While A2 vs C1 and A1 vs C2 were listed correctly, the error with regard to two group toppers clashing in the quarterfinal was not noticed by any team till Tuesday.

Read - Ranji Trophy: Who plays who in quarterfinals

On Tuesday, however, the Vidarbha Cricket Association raised the issue with the BCCI headquarters. “There was an error in the original draw but the handbook also specified that if the last year's finalists made it to the knockouts, they will have to be placed in separate halves. While accommodating it, eventually the BCCI has managed to avoid any two group toppers facing each other in a quarterfinal match,” a BCCI official told Sportstar.

Read: Tamil Nadu's annus horribilis ends in abject surrender

The BCCI follows a convention of defending finalists being given seedings in the knockout draw if either of the teams qualifies for the knockout stage.

Final at Brabourne

While the BCCI has only announced venues for the quarterfinals, Sachin Bajaj, a Cricket Club of India executive committee member, announced in a press conference that the Brabourne Stadium has been allotted a semifinal and the final of the Ranji Trophy. Sportstar understands that Brabourne will most likely stage the final from December 29, the semifinal venues will be announced in a couple of days.

Quarterfinal line-up (All matches to be played from December 7 to 11)
  • Gujarat vs Bengal at Jaipur;
  • Delhi vs Madhya Pradesh at Vijayawada;
  • Kerala vs Vidarbha at Surat;
  • Karnataka vs Mumbai at Nagpur.