On Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has officially announced the draw for the upcoming Ranji Trophy which is a premium elite tournament that taken place every year. Last year the tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. BCCI also made it official that the tournament will start on January 13, 2022. The finals will be played in Eden Gardens, Kolkata next year.
This year’s draw proves to provide a tougher competition as Champions Mumbai, Heavyweights Karnataka and Delhi are all in the same group. This group is also called the Group of Death.
Defending Champions Saurashtra are paired up with Tamil Nadu, Railways, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Goa in Elite Group D as they will play in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile last year’s runner-ups Bengal will have a comparatively easy group with Vidarbha, Haryana, Kerala, Rajasthan and Tripura all drawn together in Elite Group B as they will play in Bangalore this year.
Multiple time Ranji Trophy champions Hyderabad, Mumbai and Uttarakhand are grouped in Elite Group C as they play in Kolkata. The group stages become even more interesting this year with Andra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Baroda, Odisha, Pondicherry and Chattisgarh all clubbed in Elite Group E. This group will prove to be the Group of Underdogs this year. They will play in Trivandrum this year.
Elite Group A have Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Services and Assam this year as they will play in Mumbai this year. The Plate Group having Chandigarh, Bihar, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland will play in Chennai this year.
There will be a five-day quarantine period and two practice sessions were given to every team participating in this year’s Ranji Trophy ahead of their upcoming games held in January 2022.