The domestic season is set to expand this year © Getty Images (Representational Image)
The domestic season is set to expand this year © Getty Images (Representational Image)

The 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season, India’s premier domestic tournament, will feature a total of 37 teams including nine new entrants – Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim & Uttarakhand.

The teams will be spread across four groups – Elite A, Elite B, Elite C and Plate. The Elite A and Elite B groups would comprise of nine teams each while the Elite C group would comprise of 10 teams. The Plate group would comprise of the nine new teams.

Promotion and Relegation of Teams:

1. Top team that qualifies for Quarter-Finals from Plate Group will be promoted to Elite Group C in the next season.

2. Top two teams that qualifies for Quarter-Finals from Elite Group C will be promoted to Elite Group A & Elite Group B in the next season.

3. Bottom two teams from Elite Group A and Elite Group B combined will be relegated to Elite Group C in the next season.

4. Bottom team from Elite Group C will be relegated to Plate Group in the next season.

The BCCI also announced the schedule for other annual tournaments which will get underway in August starting with the Duleep Trophy across various age groups in the men’s and women’s category.

The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy will also comprise 37 teams and will be played after the Irani Trophy. This will be a great platform for the domestic players to prepare for the IPL. The Col C K Nayudu Trophy, Vinoo Mankad Trophy, Cooch Behar Trophy and Vizzy Trophy (Inter-university competition) will cater to the young and budding talent of the country.

The senior women’s team will commence their domestic season with the T20 Challenger Trophy which will incidentally feature the first game of the domestic season on 13th August, 2018.

The season will end with the last match of Women’s U23 One Day Challenger Trophy scheduled for 24th April, 2019. In effect, BCCI would hold a total of over 2000 matches across the various tournaments.