The Ranji Trophy, India’s premier tournament in domestic cricket, would be held in two phases, broken down into pre and post the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 phases. The first phase will run from February 10 to March 15, where 34 matches will be played in 57 days. In the second phase, scheduled from May 30 to June 26, seven matches will be played in 28 days. Overall, 64 matches will be played in 62 days.
“We have spread the Ranji Trophy to nine different venues, across the country to mitigate any cross-transmission risk while also ensuring that bio-secure bubbles are not overburdened. While the persistent virus has still breached the bubble we have factored in certain contingency plans drawing from our past experience while formulating this structure,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah wrote to the state units on Thursday, in a report by Cricbuzz.
As per the schedule, the groups in the Ranji Trophy are divided into nine groups – eight elite and one plate. In the elite groups, four teams are there while the plate group has six teams. Elite teams in a group will play against each other while the plate teams will clash with only three teams in their group.
According to the structure, one team from each Elite group qualifies for the quarter-finals, barring one which will have to play a pre-quarter-final match. The lowest-ranked of the eight teams qualified from the Elite category will have to play the top side of the Plate group in the pre-quarterfinals. The quarter-final draw will be held after the end of pre-quarter-finals.
Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Delhi, Guwahati, Cuttack, Trivandrum, Chennai and Haryana (Rohtak and Gurugram) will be the venues for the Elite teams while Kolkata will host the Plate teams matches in the 2021/22 Ranji Trophy. No team will play their matches at home as the tournament follows the neutral venue option.
The groupings of the teams and venues allotted are as follows: –
Elite A matches in Rajkot: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Meghalaya
Elite B matches in Cuttack: Bengal, Baroda, Hyderabad and Chandigarh
Elite C matches in Chennai: Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Railways and Pondicherry
Elite D matches in Ahmedabad: Saurashtra, Mumbai, Odisha and Goa
Elite E matches in Trivandrum: Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Services and Uttarakhand
Elite F matches in Delhi: Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Tripura
Elite G matches in Haryana: Vidarbha, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Assam
Elite H matches in Guwahati: Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh
Plate matches in Kolkata: Bihar, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh