Ranji Trophy 2016-17 will start from October 6. Photo: CricketCountry
Ranji Trophy 2016-17 will start from October 6.

As India‘s senior team gets into a number of series lined one after another, the domestic circuit also gears up for the most important contest of the season, the Ranji trophy 2016-17. This is the 83rd season of the glorious tournament and has a lot of new elements in it. Chattisgarh, for the first time, will be taking part in the tournament taking the team tally to 28. The structure of the contest remains the same with the teams starting to play the preliminary rounds from October 6. Another new feature is that the matches will be held at neutral venues. A lot of discussions were laid down in this aspect but finally it was agreed to try neutral venues for this edition of Ranji Trophy. READ: BCCI receives notice for bias in Chattisgarh team selection

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) took the decision to arrange the competition in neutral venues to totally nullifie the home side advantage for participating teams as it will also be akin to increasing competition. BCCI announced the dates and schedules of the 2016-17 season in September 2016. The teams will be divided in three groups, i.e. Group A, B and C. While in Group A and B there will be 9 teams each, group C will have 10 teams. Three teams each from groups A and B and two teams from group C will qualify for the quarter-final of the tournament.

Due to the national team duties during this tightly-packed cricket schedule, big names like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja are most likely to miss the initial few matches of the tournament and players like Unmukt Chand, Varun Aaron will get the opportunity to lead their respective state teams in the 83rd edition. The reigning champions are Mumbai who won the last edition beating Saurashtra by an innings and 21 runs to earn the title for an astonishing 41st time. The pink ball will also be used in the tournament to give an idea to BCCI about it’s functioning and enable them in making a decision on playing day-night matches.

Points table:

Group A

Group A Mat Won Lost Tied Draw NR Pts NRR
Mumbai 8 3 0 0 5 0 30 0.03
Gujarat 8 2 0 0 5 1 26 0.37
Tamil Nadu 8 2 1 0 5 0 26 0.16
Punjab 8 2 1 0 5 0 21 0.11
Bengal 8 2 1 0 4 1 21 -0.24
Madhya Pradesh 8 2 1 0 5 0 20 0.02
Uttar Pradesh 8 1 4 0 3 0 13 -0.12
Baroda 8 1 3 0 4 0 10 0
Railways 8 1 5 0 2 0 10 -0.37

Mumbai, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu qualify to the quarter-final of Ranji Trophy 2016-17.

Group B:

Group B Mat Won Lost Tied Draw NR Pts NRR
Jharkhand

8 5 0 0 3 0 39 0.39
Karnataka 8 5 1 0 2 0 37 0.27
Odisha 8 2 1 0 5 0 22 0.05
Delhi 8 2 2 0 4 0 21 0.58
Maharashtra 8 2 3 0 3 0 21 -0.06
Vidarbha 8 2 2 0 4 0 20 -0.03
Saurashtra 8 2 4 0 2 0 18 0.1
Rajasthan 8 1 4 0 3 0 12 -0.64
Assam 8 1 5 0 2 0 8 -0.62

Meanwhile, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Odisha toppled to the quarter-final of the tournament with the second, third team yet to play their last league match on December 15.

Group C:

Group C Mat Won Lost Tied Draw NR Pts NRR
Hyderabad 9 4 1 0 3 1 31 -0.12
Haryana 9 3 1 0 5 0 31 0.22
Andhra 9 3 1 0 5 0 28 0.12
Himachal Pradesh 9 3 0 0 6 0 26 0.66
Kerala 9 1 1 0 7 0 25 0.2
Goa 9 2 3 0 4 0 18 -0.33
Services 9 1 2 0 6 0 16 -0.18
Jammu and Kashmir 9 1 3 0 5 0 15 -0.38
Chhattisgarh 9 1 4 0 4 0 14 -0.01
Tripura 9 1 4 0 3 1 14 -0.2

As only two teams can qualify from Group C, Hyderabad and Haryana took the lead. They will be seen playing in the quarter-final stage.

Group A: Mumbai, Baroda, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Railways, Uttar Pradesh

Group B: Saurashtra, Odisha, Delhi, Maharashtra, Assam, Vidarbha, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jharkhand.

Group C: Hyderabad, Haryana, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Services, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra, Chhattisgarh.

The bottom two teams from group B will be relegated to group C