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Rescheduled matches to delay Ranji knockouts

Smog saw two league matches being postponed, which will now be held from December 24 to 28 Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The knockout matches of the Ranji Trophy have been rescheduled to accommodate the two league fixtures in Delhi which were postponed due to pollution and smog. The quarter-finals, initially scheduled to begin on December 17, will now be held from December 24 to 28.

The semi-finals were moved from December 27 to January 3, while the final, originally set to be played from January 7, will now take place from January 12 to 16. The BCCI also announced that the Irani Cup, to be played between the Ranji winners and Rest of India, will be held from January 22 to 26.

The two postponed league matches - the Group A clash between Gujarat and Bengal and the Group C fixture between Hyderabad and Tripura - will now be played from December 15 to 18 in Visakhapatnam and Kolkata respectively.

Both the fifth-round games, originally scheduled to be played at Feroz Shah Kotla and the Karnail Singh Stadium respectively, were called off without a ball being bowled. The players had complained of burning eyes on the opening day, and play was called off on the second afternoon after there was no improvement in the air quality. The smog was believed to be an after-effect of Diwali fireworks, as well as the burning of paddy stubble in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

The BCCI had then announced that the matches would be played after the league phase, and shifted games out of Delhi in the next round. The Group B fixture between Assam and Odisha, originally scheduled at the Karnail Singh Stadium, was shifted to Hyderabad, while the Hyderabad-Services game in Group C was moved from Feroz Shah Kotla to Mumbai.