The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will not be conducting its premier first-class domestic tournament Ranji Trophy for the first time in 87 years as the parent body opted for the Vijay Hazare Trophy as per the wishes of majority of the state units. The BCCI will also host the U-19 National One Day tournament for the Vinoo Mankad Trophy and the Women’s national 50-over tournament as per a letter sent by BCCI secretary Jay Shah to the state units.
The BCCI has decided to conduct the Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over tournament and Senior Women’s One Day tournament after the completion of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament. The president of a state association said that all the indications of the BCCI not being keen on staging the Ranji Trophy had been there for a long time. The Ranji Trophy, held every year between October and February (depending on the schedules), happens to be the biggest source of income for First Class cricketers in the country.
The Mushtaq Ali T20 is scheduled to end on January 31, following which the Vijay Hazare one-dayers will begin. The schedule is expected to be out within the next two weeks.
To host any domestic cricket or not this year was always going to be a major challenge for the BCCI, considering it had successfully hosted the eight-team Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE without any hassles. “The overriding fear was about giving the impression that the BCCI was comfortable hosting the IPL but not Ranji. That the BCCI was comfortable shifting the IPL to another country, but not any other domestic tournament. The fear that accusations like “step-brotherly treatment is being meted out to the First-Class cricketers vis-à-vis the IPL cricketers” would become an issue.