Accepting the persistent demand of captains and coaches to provide a longer rest to players between Ranji Trophy matches, the BCCI has increased the gaps to four days from the upcoming domestic season 2013- 14.
Till the last season, the gap between matches has been of three days. From the new season, it will be increased to four days after the third round of matches in the 27- team tournament that begins on October 27.
The 80th Ranji Trophy tournament has been brought forward by seven days as compared to the 2012- 13 season, and would finish on February 2, sources said after a meeting of the BCCI Tour, Programme and Fixtures Committee.
The domestic season would begin with the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy (September 26- 29), and end with the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on April 13.
“The first three rounds of the Ranji Trophy will have the usual three- day gaps, and subsequently a four- day gap has been provided between the matches to enable players to recover from injuries and travel between venues. That’s why the Ranji Trophy would begin six days earlier,” a BCCI source told Mail Today. The seven knock- out Ranji Trophy matches will be played at ‘neutral’ venues from the next season.
“The venues for these matches will be picked based on their performance, like the pitches and ground conditions etc., in the league phase of the tournament,” he said.
The committee also finalised the dates of the other national tournaments at the meeting at which its chairman Arun Jaitley was absent. BCCI interim secretary Sanjay Patel chaired the meeting held at the Board headquarters in Mumbai.
The Duleep Trophy will be played from October 3- 21, the inter-zonal knock out round of the Deodhar Trophy from March 23- 27, Irani Trophy from February 9-13, the All India knock-out round of the limited overs Vijay Hazare Trophy from March 11- 18, and T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy from April 8- 13.
“The main feature of the knockout rounds of the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy will be that those matches will be played under floodlights,” said the source.“Also, the bonus point that used to be awarded in the Vijay Hazare Trophy has been done away with from the next season.”
The committee also finalised an under- 19 international quadrangular tournament, to be played between India, Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from September 20 to October 2 in Visakhapatnam.