India domestic news August 8, 2014

BCCI sanctions neutral venues for Ranji knockouts


The BCCI has decided to stage all the Ranji Trophy knockout games at neutral venues in the 2014-15 season. This would mean a change to current norm by which knockouts are played on a rotational home-and-away basis.

The decision was recommended by the technical committee recently and was formalised during the tour, programme and fixtures committee meeting in Mumbai on Friday. The neutral venues will be shortlisted by the ground and pitches committee, based on the performance of pitches in the league stage.

In the previous season, three of the four quarter-finals and a semi-final were played on the home turf of one of the competing teams due to the home-and-away policy. Earlier, in 2007-08 and 2008-09, the BCCI had implemented the concept of staging knockout games at neutral venues. However, it reverted to the home-and-away format after Sachin Tendulkar expressed that home advantage should be enjoyed in the Ranji Trophy knockouts.

The tour, programme and fixtures committee meeting, which was chaired by Rajiv Shukla via videoconferencing, also finalised the domestic season schedule. As per the technical committee's recommendation of playing the one-day tournaments before the Ranji Trophy, keeping the World Cup in mind, the inter-state and zonal one-day tournaments will be played in November and December.

The domestic season will kick off with the zonal first-class tournament, the Duleep Trophy, which will be played from October 15 to November 3, while the zonal one-dayers - the Deodhar Trophy - will be played from November 7 to 14. The Vijay Hazare Trophy, the all-India one-day knockouts, will be staged from November 19 to 25.

The Ranji Trophy, which used to begin in the last week of October ever since the multi-tiered system was introduced, will now start on December 7. The Ranji final will be from March 8 to 12, which will effectively clash with the 2015 World Cup.

Despite the BCCI deciding to defer the Corporate Trophy and the Challenger Series, the board has not been able to space out the Ranji Trophy league matches properly. While the first five rounds of the league stage will have only three days between matches, the last three games will be played with a four-day break between them.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sriram on August 11, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    Will that gaurantee an overseas Test series win? probably not because its not about neutral venues its about conditions and quality of cricket, unfortunately its been abmyssal!!

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Hi Whats the purpose of playing ranji matches Check the current Indian team there is hardly any players in the current Indian squad who were part of finals / Semifinalist ( karnataka, Maharashtra, Bengal, Punjab)

  • Android on August 9, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    The decision is good. moize

  • sid on August 8, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    Ridiculous decision. Who will come to watch Ranji Trophy match in a Neutral Venue? Currently at least a few thousand home team supporters like me come to the stadium. Where's the fun for players playing in an empty stadium? Even if a few thousand viewers watch the game on TV, it is not entertaining to them if the stadium is empty.

  • Android on August 8, 2014, 18:30 GMT

    Rajasthan Go Nail It !

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2014, 18:25 GMT

    what is the point of playing one day matches in november as preparation for a tournament in feb/march. the players will be out of one day practice by the time the world cup starts.

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    Come on Baroda, its been decade since we lifted the trophy.

  • Dummy on August 8, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Karnataka, Mumbai, UP, TN, Railways- maximum heavyweights on Group A. Chance for others to prove a point. But again, that will deprive fans of quality cricket in the knock outs!!!

  • Dummy on August 8, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    Absolutely ridiculous. The outcome of ranji trophy games also depend on the weather conditions in various parts of the country, especially in the months of Nov-Dec. Also, the probable 20-30 specialists for the world cup are almost well known. Why is the BCCI spoiling the value of our premier domestic competition??? Moreover, the knock outs and the final clash with the world cup. Not even positive from the business angle. How come such strong & active BCCI losing its plot???? As a fan, am unhappy!!!!!!

  • Android on August 8, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    Not welcoming news. No fun in watching Mumbai vs Karnataka in Mohali. There are those spectators at each venues who still cheer for home teams, they are the only few ones left on the grounds, this move will make them disinterested. It failed last time too.

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