New Delhi: The Duleep Trophy, back in the calendar in its old zonal format after three years, will kick-start the Indian domestic season from September 8 with 1500 games across all age-groups over a period of six months, the BCCI said on Monday.
“The prestigious Duleep Trophy will mark the start of a full-fledged season, which will also see a return of the Irani Cup,’ BCCI secretary Jay Shah was quoted as saying by media release.
“The Duleep Trophy (September 8-25) will be contested between six zones (North, South, Central, West, East and Northeast) on a knockout basis,” Shah added.
The BCCI was not following the zonal format for the last few seasons, fielding the India Red, Blue and Green teams instead.
With the zonal format making a comeback, it will have one extra zone in northeast, besides the existing five.
The two multi-day tournaments will be followed by the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (October 11-November 5) and the Vijay Hazare Trophy (November 12- December 2).
The two white-ball tournaments will be contested between 38 teams split into three groups of eight teams and two groups comprising seven sides.
The Ranji Trophy will be back to its old format and starts from December 13 and ends on February 20.
The elite and plate groups will be back. The elite group will comprise 32 teams and will have four groups of eight teams in a home and away format with each team playing seven matches in the league stage.
The top two teams from each of the four groups will directly qualify for the quarterfinals.
The plate group will comprise six teams with 15 league matches and the top four will directly qualify for the semi-final while the bottom two will play against each other for the 5th/6th place.
Both the elite group and plate group league matches will start on December 13 with the plate league concluding on January 29 and the elite group finishing on February 20.
Women’s domestic itinerary —PTI