The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah on Friday confirmed that the Ranji Trophy will be held in two phases, with the knockout rounds scheduled for June.
It is expected that the 38-team tournament will begin in the second week of February and the first phase will continue for about a month.
The tournament, which was not held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was scheduled to begin on January 13 but was postponed after third wave of the dreadful virus hit the country.
“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,” Jay Shah said in a statement.
Jay Shah stressed the importance of the Ranji Trophy to Indian cricket and said the BCCI is focused on safeguarding the premier event.
“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,” he added.
Earlier, former Team India head coach Ravi Shastri on Friday said that the Ranji Trophy is the backbone of Indian cricket and the premier domestic red-ball tournament should not be ignored.
“The Ranji Trophy is the backbone of Indian cricket. The moment you start ignoring it, our cricket will be SPINELESS,” tweeted Shastri.
Ranji Trophy was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 will get underway in March end and the tournament will get over in May, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had earlier confirmed.