The Ranji Trophy 2019-20 season, which was won by Saurashtra, was played according to the format introduced for the first time in 2018-19 season. As per the format the teams were split into three Elite groups A, B and C of 9, 9 and 10 teams respectively and a Plate group of 10 teams.
The top five teams with the highest points from across group A and B, plus the top-two from group C and the winners of the Plate group made it to the quarterfinals.
Proposed Ranji Trophy format
However, according to a report by The Hindu, the board is considering a proposal to divide the Elite teams from the current three to five groups, each consisting of 6 teams, with the remaining eight teams in the Plate group.
The new format will see the top team from each of the five Elite groups qualify for the quarterfinals The last three spots will be filled via play-offs among five second-placed teams from the Elite groups and the Plate winner.
The proposal, which was submitted to the board before the COVID-19 outbreak, if approved by BCCI’s (yet to be appointed) cricket committee, could lead to drastic reduction in the total number of matches played during the tournament from 169 to 113.
It is likely that the board could try the new format for the upcoming season, which is likely to be shortened due to the coronavirus disruptions.
Reduced workload and earning
While some of the BCCI officials feel that the new avatar of the tournament will lessen the workloads of players who feature in the IPL and in matches for India-A, it will be interesting to see how the players respond to the proposal.
The proposal along with the matches and work load could also reduce the earnings of the players, who earn about 1.4 lacs per Ranji match.