increase in domestic cricket prize money; Deodhar Trophy culled

Prize money for national tournaments including the Ranji Trophy is increased by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. This was one of the decisions taken at Thursday’s Apex Council meeting in Mumbai. The Ranji Trophy winners will receive a check for Rs 2 crore. The decision to increase the prize money follows a windfall of Rs 48,390 crore from the sale of IPL media rights

“The Apex Council has decided to give officers the power to decide the revised prize money,” a BCCI official said.

The national calendar will see a change as the BCCI has decided to drop the Deodhar Trophy which was first held in 1973-74. The Deodhar Trophy is a List A tournament with three teams – India A, B and C.

A BCCI official said the reason the tournament was eliminated was the packed national schedule. The BCCI will host 1,773 domestic games this season, including age group tournaments. “We couldn’t find a place because so many games are being played during the national season, which is due to start in September this year,” said the BCCI representative.

The Duleep Trophy, played in a zonal format, the Ranji Trophy with Elite and Plate groups, and the Decision Review System (DRS) that will likely be in place for all Ranji Trophy games were the other major decisions that taken at the Apex Council Meeting.

Thursday’s meeting was BCCI’s first physical meeting post-Covid-19. It was chaired by BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, while Secretary Jay Shah and Treasurer Arun Dhumal also attended.

As for the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI has decided to reintroduce the Elite and Plate group as in the pre-Covid days. Thirty-two teams will be divided into four elite groups of eight each, while six teams will be in the plate group. The winners of the Plate Group Finals will earn a place in the Quarterfinals of the Ranji Trophy. There will also be a relegation system.

The Ranji Trophy starts in December and teams play home and away.

The other tournaments during the domestic season are the Irani Trophy (winner Rest of India vs. Ranji Trophy), Vijay Hazare Trophy (50 overs) and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (20 overs). BCCI officials felt that returning to the zonal format in the Duleep Trophy will help improve the quality of the tournament. The Duleep Trophy in its current format consists of three teams – India Red, India Blue and India Green

DRS likely for Ranji Trophy?

The Apex Council discussed the introduction of DRS (Decision Review System) in the next season of the Ranji Trophy game. A series of howls from referees has led the BCCI to consider introducing DRS in the Ranji Trophy. “The BCCI has agreed in principle to introduce the DRS system for the next season. If all goes well, BCCI will have a DRS system for all live games,” said a BCCI official.

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