No Ranji Trophy this season, BCCI opts for 50-over Vijay Hazare

Written by Vipin Darwade

The Ranji Trophy won’t be held during the truncated 2020-21 season, instead the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to conduct the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy and the senior women’s One-day tournament.

In a letter to state associations on Friday, BCCI secretary Jay Shah while highlighting the time lost because of the pandemic, wrote, “it is extremely important for us to ensure that women’s cricket takes place and I am extremely happy to inform you that we are going to conduct the Senior Women’s One day tournament simultaneously with the Vijay Hazare Trophy and follow it up with Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under 19. This has been decided after having received your feedback on the domestic season 2020-21.”

However, the BCCI has decided to compensate domestic players for the match fees they would have earned during the Ranji Trophy, approximately Rs 45000 a day.

It is learnt that Vijay Hazare will be played along the lines of the on-going Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy — in six designated bio bubbles. The venues will be finalised next week and the teams will enter the bio-bubble in the first week of February.

The tournament is expected to run for a month. The BCCI is running short of time because the Indian Premier League could start by the end of March, which means domestic players, who are part of the teams, will have to be available to play in the T20 league.

The BCCI had consulted the state cricket associations about which domestic tournaments to conduct in the pandemic-affected season. A majority of them were in favour of the 50-over format over the four-day Ranji Trophy.

In the letter to the state associations, Shah wrote, “The pandemic has tested each and every one of us and there is no life that has remain untouched by it, and while it has been difficult, your support has meant that we have been able to resume both domestic and international cricket in the men’s category. As you are aware, we have lost a lot of time and consequently, it has been difficult to plan the cricket calendar…”

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Vipin Darwade