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Ranji Trophy: The Hearts and Souls of Indian Cricket Culture

The Ranji Trophy is the premier domestic first-class cricket tournament in India. With a rich history, Ranji Trophy was far beyond of just a competition, become a part of Soul of Indian cricket enthusiasts.

Ranji Trophy, Indian Cricket Culture

History and Legacy of Ranji Trophy

As the premier domestic first-class cricket championship in India, the Ranji Trophy is one of oldest cricket domestic tournaments played in India. Start with the idea about a national first-class level championship by a BCCI’s founder, A. S. De Mello. After a meeting at Shimla in 1934, the first version of Ranji Trophy tournament was launched, initially name as “The cricket championship of India“. After the legendary cricketer Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II, the Prince of Nawanagar and popularly known as ‘Ranji‘, was passed away, the competition renamed to Ranji Trophy to memory of him.

About Ranjitsinhji

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Colonel Kumar Sri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II or Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II was the very first Indian cricketer to played in international cricket. He played all his cricket in England, represented Cambridge University, Sussex and play for the England cricket team. Ranji was considered one of the great cricket players of his era and was credited with Inventing the leg-glance shot.

He then returned to India and was criticized for refused an offer to lead the Indian team in 1911, told he was not contributing for the growth of the game in his home country. However, he very interested in coaching his nephew, Duleepsinhji, who later play for England and domestic cricket competition in India. Later this competition was named Duleep Trophy.

Significance of Ranji Trophy

Significance of Ranji Trophy

Ranji Trophy is a crucial part of Indian cricket as it provides a platform for young and upcoming players to showcase their talent and potentially make it to the national team. It also helps in identifying and nurturing talented players from various states, leading to a stronger and more competitive Indian cricket team.

Additionally, the performance in Ranji Trophy is also taken into consideration while selecting players for international matches, made it an important tournament for players to prove their worth.

Over the years, the Ranji Trophy has witnessed intense rivalries, extraordinary performances, and historic moments that have contributed to the rich tapestry of Indian cricket history.

The Evolving Format of Ranji Trophy

The beginning format

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The inaugural season of Ranji Trophy match was started in 1934-1935 with only 15 teams join the competition and played 13 games with only 3 producing results. Bombay is the very first Ranji Trophy champion.

First change

The Ranji tournament game format was unchanged until 2001. With the participating teams divided into five zones based on different geographical regions: North, South, East, West and Central. The teams of each region will compete with each other and that winner team will play against other regions’ winner to determine the champion of the tournament.

The Evolving Format of Ranji Trophy

2002-2007

The format had another changed in 2002-2003 season, when zonal system was replaced by the two-tier system: Elite Group with 15 teams and Plate Group with remaining teams. Each group have 2 sub-groups, teams in sub-group will play against each other within Elite or Plate group. The top 2 of each Elite sub-group will join a competition to determine the champion of Ranji Trophy while the team finished last will be relegated to Plate Group. The two team join the final in Plate group will be promoted for the next season. The divisions were renamed to Super League and Plate League in 2006-2007 season.

2008-2011

The next format change was start in 2008-2009, by the idea of give both Super League and Plate League teams a chance to become Tournament’s Champion. The 2 teams join the final of Plate League will join the Quarterfinals and contest with other Super League teams to have a opportunity to win the tournament. Promotion and Relegation still continued. By this change, Rajasthan was the first Plate League team to win the Ranji Trophy title in 2010-2011 season.

2012-2017

From the 2012-2013 season, the Super League and Plate League was abandoned, but still keep the two-tier system. Now the format divides cricket teams to 3 groups: A, B and C. Basically, it was like the previous format, group A and group B was the 18 top tier teams from 15 teams in Super League, each group have 9 teams. And the remaining team are contest in group C. The lowest teams of each group A and B will relegated to group C and top 2 of group C will promoted to A and B.

Prior of 2016-2017 season, match will be played at home ground of one team in the match. Then, for the 2016-2017 season, BCCI was decided that all games would be held on a neutral venues.

2017-2019

Star from 2017-2018 season, the 2 tiers was absolutely abandoned and there are 4 group with 7 teams each.

The Tier comeback in 2018-2019 season, with 3 tiers:

  • Top Tier: Group A and B, 5 teams will qualified to Quarterfinals.
  • Second Tier: Group C, 2 team qualified to Quarterfinals.
  • Lower Tier: Plate Group, 1 team qualified to Quarterfinals.

Present (2024)

With the increase of participate team to 38 cricket teams, the tier divides to 4 groups with 8 teams each and the remaining will play at Plate Group. Top tier: Group A and B, 2 team qualified Quarterfinals each; Second Tier: Group C and D, 2 team qualified Quarterfinals each; Lower Tier: Plate Group, 2 teams join the final will be promoted in the next season.

Ranji Trophy current team (2023-2024 season)

The amount of participate team was increased a lot than the inaugural season. Current team for the 2023-24 season of Ranji Trophy was 38 cricket teams representing 28 states and 8 union territories and divided to 4 groups and Plate League.

Group A + Group B:

Group AGroup B
VidarbhaMumbai
HaryanaChhattisgarh
SaurashtraUttar Pradesh
ServicesBengal
RajasthanKerala
MaharashtraAndhra
JharkhandAssam
ManipurBihar

Group C + Group D:

Group CGroup D
Tamil NaduMadhya Pradesh
KarnatakaBaroda
TripuraJammu & Kashmir
GujaratDelhi
RailwaysPuducherry
PunjabUttarakhand
GoaOdisha
ChandigarhHimachal Pradesh

Plate Group:

  • Hyderabad
  • Meghalaya
  • Sikkim
  • Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • Arunachal Pradesh

Interesting Information About India Ranji Trophy

Film about Ranji Trophy

The competition was once feature in the 2019 Telugu film named Jersey. Arjun, the main character are represents the Hyderabad cricket team in the 1980-1990 Ranji Trophy.

One of 6 older domestic cricket tournaments of the BCCI

Beside Ranji, India was have 5 more domestic cricket tournaments organized by BCCI, there are: Vijay Hazare Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Irani Cup and Indian Premier League.

Ranji Trophy was broadcast in many way

The Ranji match are broadcasted by Sports 18 TV channel or JioCinema live on both TV and smart devices. Beside, BCCI’s website will broadcast the highlights of the match. In addition, Ranji Trophy live matches was play in some casino site that have Live platform like 1cric.com, support cricket betting players more convenience.

The 2023-2024 is 89th season of Ranji Trophy

The 2023–24 Ranji Trophy is the 89th season of the Ranji Trophy, the premier first-class cricket tournament in India. It will take place from 5 January to 14 March 2024.

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