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India Domestic Cricket: Baroda Writes Back to BCCI, Wants Shorter-Format Tournament in Post-Pandemic World

Motera cricket stadium GCA photo

Motera cricket stadium GCA photo

The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) is preferring the shorter formats ODIs and T20s for the upcoming domestic season that is going to be a truncated one in view of the COVID19 pandemic. The BCCI had asked all the affiliated state associations and units for their opinion.

The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) is preferring the shorter formats — ODIs and T20s — for the upcoming domestic season that is going to be a truncated one in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCCI had asked all the affiliated state associations and units for their opinion. “We have opted for T20 and One-day cricket, that is the Syed Mushtaq Ali and the Vijay Hazare Trophy, and we have officially conveyed this to the BCCI," BCA secretary Ajit Lele told PTI on Wednesday. Desperate to have some domestic cricket underway, the BCCI had recently sought the state associations’ views on the structure of the curtailed season, for which it plans to create six bio-secure hubs across the country between December and March.

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Another senior BCA official reasoned that creating a bio-bubble for 67 days of Ranji Trophy would be a difficult task and hence the preference for the shorter formats. The official also said that BCA would start a training camp for its players once the probables are selected after the conclusion of its local tournaments."We had started long back. Now our tournaments are going on, local tournaments, club cricket, so once the tournaments are over, we will select 25-30 probable (players) and then the camp will start. But the boys are already in practise," he elaborated. He also said that the association has appointed a chief medical officer, who is conducting medical tests for all the players.

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In its letter to the associations, the board had suggested four options on the conduct of the domestic season, including having only the blue-riband Ranji Trophy. The second option is conducting only the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. The third scenario is a combination of Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali while the fourth is having a window for two white-ball tourneys (Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy).

Ten days ago, the BCCI had written to the state associations providing them multiple options.  The BCCI president had said in the letter that Ranji Trophy will take 67 days, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 22 days and the Vijay Hazare Trophy 28 days for completion. The window for completion for Ranji Trophy is January 11 to March 18.  Meanwhile For Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare the completion windows will be December 20 to January 10 and January 11 to February 7 respectively. Each of the six cities must have three digital-broadcast friendly venues. This is the first time India’s cricket body have taken some concrete steps for the execution of domestic cricket which remained in standstill since March 17 when the Ranji Trophy final took place.

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