As part of its preparations to conduct domestic cricket, the BCCI has asked the state associations about their readiness to host matches and their preference for the type of tournaments. The BCCI plans to set up six bio-secure hubs across the country with the 38 teams divided into five Elite groups and one Plate group. The Elite groups will consist of six teams each while the Plate group will have eight.
Each BCCI hub will have a minimum of three venues that will be broadcast (digital)-friendly. The board wants the Ranji Trophy to be spread over 67 days, Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 across 22 days and Vijay Hazare Trophy to be completed in 28 days.
In an email from BCCI secretary Jay Shah to the state associations, accessed by The Indian Express, four options have been laid out.
Option 1 – Only Ranji Trophy “OR”
Option 2 – Only Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 “OR”
Option 3 – Both Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 “OR”
Option 4 – Both Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and Vijay Hazare Trophy
“As you all are aware that sport has not been immune to COVID-19 and has adapted to public health advice, adopting a safe return to sport. With the successful completion of IPL 2020 in the U.A.E., the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is working on the resumption of domestic cricket for the season 2020-21,” Shah wrote in the email. “Establishing a structure for a new competition during a pandemic has provided specific challenges for domestic cricket, most notably having the required medical personnel in place to handle stringent return-to-play protocols.”
Shah reiterated that the health of the players and officials will be given top priority. “Preparation for the season across the men’s domestic game remains subject to ongoing advice from Government and medical professionals with the safety of players, staff and officials the first priority.”
The board is looking at the following dates for a window to hold the domestic matches: Ranji Trophy January 11-March 18; Syed Mushtaq Ali (T20) December 20-January 10; and Vijay Hazare Trophy (50 overs) from January 11-February 7.
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