According to ESPNCricinfo, the Board of Control for Cricket in India are considering curtailing this year’s domestic Cricket season for men, by scrapping off the two 50 Over competitions; the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy, to properly accommodate the other tournaments.
The tentative plan by the BCCI is to start the 2020/21 domestic season with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy from November 19 and end with the conclusion of the Ranji Trophy on March 10. Such plans are only deemed to be tentative at the moment.
The domestic season for women will have both the 50 Over and 20 Over tournaments, albeit with lesser matches this year. The senior women’s domestic season with span from November 1 to April 12. There will be no challenger trophies held across genders or age groups, according to the schedule.
As per the tentative plans, the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy will get underway from November 19, just over a week after the cessation of the Indian Premier League. The domestic T20 tournament will feature 38 teams split into 6 groups, who will contest for the title over 109 matches. The Women’s T20 League will feature one less team than the Men’s, with a total of 97 matches to be played over the span of November 1 to 19. Group matches for both tournaments will take place of two different grounds in one city.
The Women’s One Day League will also feature 37 teams, split into 5 groups to play 129 matches in all.
It has been proposed that 5 groups will be made to qualify for the knockouts of the Ranji Trophy this year. The top 24 teams of last season will be split into groups A, B, and C, with the top two from each qualifying automatically to the quarter-finals. Among the third-placed teams, the team with the highest “quotient” will also go through.
The eighth quarter-final spot will be decided after a playoff between the winners of Group D, which will have up to eight teams, and Group E, which consists of the six teams from the north-east.
The bottom teams from groups A, B, and C will be relegated to Group D, with the top three teams from Group D going the other way. The bottom-placed team from Group D will go down to Group E, and the winner from Group E will compete in Group D next season.
Teams in each group will play on four grounds across two nearby cities and each team will travel “at least once, at most thrice” between venues.
As it turns out, compared to the 2036 domestic Cricket matches played in the last season across formats, genders and age groups, this year’s domestic season will have a significantly lesser number of matches, with 1183 matches being scheduled in all. However, such scheduling is subject to how the COVID-19 situation pans out in India.