BCCI to conduct 900 domestic matches in six months

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will conduct 900 domestic matches in nine months during its 2015-16 season, according to its tournament fixtures released on Monday.

The domestic season will start from October this year and end March, 2016.

The Deodhar trophy will be played on a three team format comprising the champions of the Vijay Hazare tournament and two other teams which will be selected by the selectors.

The Ranji Trophy will begin on October 1, the Vinoo Mankad trophy for men Under-19 will begin on October 1, the womens U-19 One-Day competition will begin on September 20, the C.K. Nayudu Trophy for U-23 will begin on October 10 and the Mens U-19 Challenger will begin on October 28.

The men’s U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy will begin on November 5, the men’s U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy will commence from December 1, the senior men’s One-Day tournament will begin from December 8, the Vijay Hazare knock-out tournament for senior men will begin on December 21, the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy for senior men will begin on January 15 and the senior men’s Irani Cup will be on March 6.

A new Under-19 Challenger tournament has been introduced in the junior level in 2015 which will feature three teams selected by the junior national selectors and provide yet another opportunity to all the players to perform, before the national squad is selected for the Under-19 World Cup, to be played in Bangladesh in January.

Starting this year, the senior men’s One-Day and the Twenty20 tournaments will be played on group basis (like Ranji Trophy) and not on intra-zonal basis. Being the first time, the teams have been divided into four groups and these groups have been made based on the last year’s performance in the respective tournaments.

“This year we have re structured the domestic schedule based on our international commitments and ensure that all our players will get an opportunity to participate and perform, thereby improving their chances of being selected for our national teams,” BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said in a release.

“We are releasing the schedule well in advance so that our state associations and teams have enough time to plan and prepare for the forthcoming season. We do recognise that domestic cricket is of paramount importance and BCCI will continuously strive to improve the standards and ensure that the foundations of Indian cricket are further strengthened,” Thakur said.

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