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Ranji Trophy, ‘Backbone’ of Indian cricket returns after 2 years In Bio-Secure Bubbles

The Ranji Trophy, Indian cricket’s ‘backbone,’ will return after two years amid an improving Covid-19 situation in the country, giving a slew of domestic cricketers a chance to make a

The Ranji Trophy, Indian cricket’s ‘backbone,’ will return after two years amid an improving Covid-19 situation in the country, giving a slew of domestic cricketers a chance to make a name for themselves in red-ball cricket while also giving veterans like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane a final shot at resurrecting their Test careers.

For the second year in a row, the third wave of Covid-19 threatened the premier domestic event, however, the drop in infections has allowed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to host the 38-team event, a massive logistical challenge in the new normal of bio-secure environments.

With Rahane and Pujara on either side, all eyes will be on the opening match between defending champions Saurashtra and record 41-time champions Mumbai, who will be looking to make the big scores that have eluded them at the Test level for a while.

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Both veterans have been putting in long hours in the nets, and their coaches believe a big blow is on the way.

Nine bio-bubbles were created in nine venues across the country, and the players were required to quarantine for five days, leaving them with only two days of training before the first round, which will begin on Thursday.

The players are happy that after two seasons of white-ball cricket, they will finally get to put their skills to the test in the most difficult form of the game.

Most teams will also have the shortest first-class season ever, with only three league games, which will have an impact on their match fees and leave them with little room for error.

At the elite level, eight groups of four teams have been formed, while the plate group will feature six teams.

The knockouts, except for the single pre-quarterfinal, will begin on May 30 in the post-IPL phase.

It will also be a high-pressure game because it could determine the group’s only quarterfinalist.

The national selectors will also get to see the upcoming talent in action for the first time. Skipper Yash Dhull and Raj Angad Bawa are among the stars of the India U-19 team expected to make their first-class debuts soon after signing IPL contracts.

Rajkot, Cuttack, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi, Haryana, Guwahati, and Kolkata will host the games.

First Published: 16th February, 2022 15:57 IST



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