Season to start with Hazare Trophy

BCCI

The BCCI technical committee has proposed a slew of recommendations including starting the 2018-19 domestic season with the national one-day championship for the Vijay Hazare Trophy and incorporating an extra round of matches in the Ranji Trophy.

During a two-and-a-half-hour meeting in Kolkata, there were elaborate discussions on whether the Ranji Trophy could be played with Kookaburra balls instead of the currently used SG Test.

One of the key suggestions placed was the introduction of Round of 16 (pre-quarterfinals) matches in Ranji Trophy.

"After the Captain-Coaches' Conclave in Mumbai, most of the state team skippers wanted a pre-quarterfinal to be added. Now we have four groups with two teams qualifying for the quarterfinal.

"Captains feel that knockouts should start from the pre-quarters itself, so technical committee wants a round of 16 to be included. It would mean eight extra matches and also one extra match for 16 teams," a member of the technical committee told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

"The calendar could be tweaked. It will now start with Hazare Trophy followed by Ranji Trophy group league stage. We will then have the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (National T20) as it would help all the IPL teams to scout for talented players. Once that gets over, the knockout stages of the Ranji Trophy will commence with the pre-quarterfinals."

"Technical committee chairman Sourav Ganguly wants that we now prepare such a calendar that at least we don't need to tweak it for some time. There should be consistency."

The Duleep Trophy will be once again played with the pink ball in day/night format.

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