Vijay Hazare Trophy to begin on February 20

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will organise the Vijay Hazare Trophy between February 20 and March 14 across six venues.

Karnataka won the last edition of the tournament in 2019-20.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will organise the Vijay Hazare Trophy between February 20 and March 14 across six venues.

In a letter to all the state associations on Saturday, which Sportstar has access to, the BCCI secretary Jay Shah has mentioned that the Plate group matches will be played in Tamil Nadu - a venue not specified yet - while the Group A fixtures will be held in Surat. Indore and Bengaluru will host Elite B and C teams respectively, while Jaipur will play host to Elite D teams. The Elite E teams will play in Kolkata.

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From the six venues that hosted the Mushtaq Ali Trophy last month, Mumbai and Vadodara have been replaced with Surat and Jaipur. The teams will have to assemble in their respective cities on February 13 after which there will be a mandatory quarantine period. “The teams will be needed to undergo COVID-19 testing procedures and quarantines in accordance with the state regulatory authorities and the BCCI SOPs,” the letter stated.

According to the tournament plan shared with the state associations, the teams will undergo three COVID tests between February 13 and 17 before starting practice sessions from February 18.

While the group stage will be over by March 1, the quarterfinals will be held on March 8 and 9. Both the semifinals will be held on March 11. However, keeping all the factors in mind, the final schedule is yet to be shared.

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This will be the second domestic tournament this year. In January, the BCCI hosted the first tournament of the season - Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - which was held across six venues in a similar bio-secure environment. Without much time left to conduct the Ranji Trophy, the Board has decided to host the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

“In the current scenario, it was always a challenge to host such a big tournament like the Ranji Trophy due to logistical issues. So, with the Board deciding to host the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the cricketers at least have something to look forward to,” a state unit chief said.

The line up

Elite A - Surat: Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Hyderabad, Tripura, Baroda, Goa.

Elite B - Indore: Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Vidarbha, Andhra Pradesh

Elite C - Bengaluru: Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Odisha, Railways, Bihar

Elite D - Jaipur: Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Pondicherry

Elite E - Kolkata: Bengal, Services, Jammu and Kashmir, Saurashtra, Haryana, Chandigarh

Plate - Tamil Nadu: Uttarakhand, Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim

Timeline

Teams to enter bio-bubble hubs:  February 13

Group stage: February 20 to March 1

Knockouts: March 7 to 14

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