Prize money for domestic tournaments, including the Ranji Trophy, will be increased by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. This was one of the decisions taken at the Apex Council meeting held in Mumbai on Thursday. Ranji Trophy winners get a cheque of Rs 2 crore. The decision to increase the prize money follows the windfall of Rs 48,390 crore from sale of IPL media rights
“The Apex Council has decided to give powers to office bearers to decide on the revised prize money,” a BCCI official said.
The domestic calendar will see a change as the BCCI decided to drop the Deodhar Trophy, which was first held in 1973-74. The Deodhar Trophy is a list-A tournament which features three teams – India A, B and C.
A BCCI official said the reason for culling the tournament was the packed domestic schedule. The BCCI is set to conduct 1,773 domestic games this season, including age-group tournaments. “We couldn’t find space with so many matches to be played during the domestic season which is scheduled to start from September this year,” the BCCI official said.
The Duleep Trophy to be played in a zonal format, Ranji Trophy to have Elite and Plate groups and the Decision Review System (DRS) likely to be in place for all Ranji Trophy Games, were the other key decisions taken at the Apex Council meeting.
As for the Ranji Trophy, the BCCI has decided to reintroduce the Elite and Plate group, like 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 final will get a spot in the quarterfinals of Ranji Trophy. A relegation system will also be in place.
The Ranji Trophy will begin in December and teams will play home and away.
The other tournaments during the domestic season will be the Irani Trophy (Rest of India vs Ranji Trophy winner), Vijay Hazare Trophy (50 overs) and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (20 overs). The BCCI officials felt that going back to the zonal format in 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 having DRS (Decision Review System) in the next season of Ranji Trophy game. A number of howlers by umpires has resulted in the BCCI mulling over introducing DRS in Ranji Trophy. “The BCCI has agreed in principle to have the DRS system in place for next season. If everything goes smoothly, the BCCI will have a DRS system for all live games,” a BCCI official said.