Toss eliminated in CK Nayudu Trophy, Ranji Trophy in two phases

Domestic cricket will undergo an overhaul from the 2024-25 season. This is as per the cricket board secretary Jay Shah’s recommendation to the Apex Council. Under the changes, Ranji Trophy will be played in two phases, while toss will be eliminated in the U-23 championship for the CK Nayudu Trophy.

The season will start with Duleep Trophy and the BCCI has decided to do away with the zonal system. The national selectors will pick four teams instead. This will be followed by the Irani Cup and then the first five rounds of the group league matches of Ranji Trophy.

Red-ball cricket will then pause for a while to accommodate the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20s and one-day championship for Vijay Hazare Trophy. The last two rounds of Ranji Trophy group league matches and the knockouts will be played after that. The BCCI has also decided to increase the gap between Ranji Trophy matches to allow sufficient time for recovery. Until last season, Ranji Trophy had just a three-day gap between two matches.

Back in March, Mumbai and India seamer Shardul Thakur had lamented a lack of rest between games. “It’s difficult because we are playing first-class matches with three-day gaps,” he had said. “It is extremely tough for domestic players to expect them to play 10 games in a row with a three-day gap if a team reaches the final.” The BCCI has acceded to Shardul’s request.

Toss done away with at CK Nayudu Trophy

In an unprecedented move, the BCCI has decided to eliminate the toss at the CK Nayudu Trophy, ostensibly to end the trend of home teams playing on tailor-made pitches. The visiting teams will have the right to choose whether to bat or bowl first.

The England and Wales Cricket Board had experimented with this in county cricket for four seasons from 2016 to 2019, before reintroducing the toss. As for the BCCI, this is the first time it has eliminated the toss in a domestic tournament. The BCCI will also introduce a new points system in CK Nayudu Trophy based on batting and bowling performances in the first innings, apart from points for the first innings lead and outright win.

As for women’s cricket, all inter-zonal tournaments, across formats, will have teams selected by the national selectors.