Ranji Trophy not yet ruled out, Ganguly keen

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Board to seek views of states during SMA on conducting further domestic tournaments

In a positive development for India’s domestic cricket, the BCCI has not yet given up on hosting the Ranji Trophy despite the Covid-19 pandemic severely affecting the calendar. Recently the BCCI announced it would be conducting the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (domestic T20s) from January 10 to 31 in bio-secure bubbles across India. It would then seek views of the states after the league phase of the SMA Trophy on conducting further domestic tournaments.

It is understood board president Sourav Ganguly himself voiced strong support for conducting the Ranji Trophy, the premier domestic tournament, at the BCCI’s AGM in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Ganguly told the members that the BCCI and the states must explore all options to host the Ranji Trophy. It is expected the BCCI would follow the SMA Trophy with the Vijay Hazare Trophy (domestic 50-over tournament) and the Ranji Trophy, if possible.

The BCCI also has plans to conduct age-group and women’s cricket during the IPL which his scheduled for April-May next year. As a shot in the arm for domestic players – both men and women – the BCCI decided to compensate players for the loss of cricket during the pandemic. What that compensation would be, will be worked out once the BCCI has finalised the domestic calendar.

The BCCI has also decided to increase the retirement age for domestic match officials and scorers from 60 to 65.

Setback for BCCI’s cricket operations

The BCCI’s cricket operations team has thinned down further after the board “terminated” the contract of KVP Rao, assistant manager, cricket operations. Rao, a former Bihar bowler, is the second senior official the BCCI has lost from its cricket operations team this year. Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim had told the board he would leave his post of general manager, cricket operations, in January after he had officially resigned in July.

More to follow…

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo

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