The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah has confirmed that the Board will hold the Ranji Trophy this year in two phases.

The first phase of the tournament will be held in February and March, before the Indian Premier League begins on March 27. The knockout phase will held in June after the IPL.

"The Board has decided to conduct the Ranji Trophy this season in two phases. In the first phase, we plan to complete all matches of the league stage while the knockouts will be held in June," Shah said in a statement.

"My team is working closely to mitigate any kind of health risk caused by the pandemic, while at the same time ensuring a highly competitive red-ball cricket contest," the secretary said.

The tournament was initially scheduled to begin on January 13, but had to be postponed due to a spurt in COVID-19 cases.

"Ranji Trophy is our most prestigious domestic competition, which has been providing Indian Cricket with an enviable talent pool every year. It is absolutely important that we take all necessary steps to safeguard the interest of this premier event," Shah said.