New Delhi: The popular local cricket season will start with the Ranji trophy from January 1, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Saturday.
The BCCI Apex Council met on Sunday evening and a lot of time was spent discussing the domestic calendar covered by the emerging cases of Covid-19 in India.
“We have had extensive discussions on domestic cricket and we have tentatively decided to start the competitions from 1 January 2021,” Ganguly told Dubai from Dubai.
The former Indian captain asked on the question whether it would be a shortened season or not, that the board would not be able to accommodate all local tournaments for practical purposes.
“We will definitely have the full-fledged Ranji Trophy red ball tournament. It will probably not be possible to hold all tournaments, ”said Ganguly, suggesting that BCCI monitor the Ranji Trophy window in January-March.
To reduce travel, matches are likely to be arranged in four different centers, dividing the four groups (A, B, C and plate). Puducherry, for example, can house all teams in Plate Group.
‘Puducherry has six grounds and has offered to host. The Plate Group games can be offered while the other groups can play in three different centers. The main motive is to limit travel for players.
“Bangalore also has a lot of land, so it could be one option and another option could be Dharamsala, with Bilaspur and Nadaun in its vicinity,” a BCCI official said.
With the assurance of Ganguly, the state associations have gained the necessary clarity to prepare for the season. With the Covid-19 situation affecting most parts of the country, most players practice on their own. Earlier this week, Uttarakhand became the first team to start training under one roof.
Meanwhile, Ganguly also ensured that the junior cricket and women’s tournaments will be held between March and April.
‘We also have extensive plans for our age group and women’s cricket. We will start with Ranji Trophy and then we will also have the other tournaments between March and April, ”he said.
He also announced that the Indian team will be allowed to train in Australia during their quarantine phase.
‘Cricket Australia sent us an itinerary and we discussed the modality of the itinerary. We will play four Tests and it will end in the third week of January, ‘said the BCCI president.
The Indian team is expected to play three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests Down Under.
On the next home series against England, Ganguly said that the BCCI is monitoring the situation and that the final itinerary will be prepared in time.
‘The English series is three and a half to four months away. We still have time. We are monitoring the situation (COVID-19) which is fairly liquid and will call accordingly, ”he said.
Although hosting the series in India (Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Dharamsala probably local) remains a priority, the UAE is a second option.
A BCCI official added that there is a high possibility that the T20 series.