2017/18 Ranji Trophy groups announced
What's the story?
BCCI have announced the four groups for the upcoming Ranji Trophy season. Unlike the previous editions, the 28 teams will be divided into four groups of seven each instead of the existing three and the top two from each group will make it to the quarter-final (the previous system saw three teams advancing from the Group A & B and two teams from the Group C.
Group A: Karnataka, Delhi, Assam, Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Uttar Pradesh, Railways
Group B: Jharkhand, Gujarat, Kerala, Saurashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir
Group C: Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Baroda, Tripura
Group D: Himachal Pradesh, Vidarbha, Punjab, Bengal, Services, Goa, Chhattisgarh
In case you didn't know...
The 2017-18 Ranji season is set to welcome back the home and away format after the players and the boards expressed their disappointment over the neutral venue concept.
The defending champions Gujarat are in group B along with last year's semi-finalists Jharkhand, quarter-finalists Haryana, Saurashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
Group A features former champions Karnataka, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Railways and Hyderabad.
41-time champions and last year's finalists Mumbai are placed alongside their arch-rivals Tamil Nadu, Andhra, MP, Odisha, Baroda and Tripura in Group C.
The last group, group D, comprises of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Bengal, Services, Goa, Chattisgarh and Services.
All the teams will be starting their preparations for the tournament soon as most of the players who will be a part of the Ranji Trophy will play in the Buchi Babu Invitational tournament in Chennai before having their preparatory camps.
This season's tournament, which starts on October 6, will run till January 2. The league stage ends in the last week of November and the quarterfinals will be played from December 7 while the semi-finals from December 17. The final starts on December 29.
The league matches will be a four-day encounter while the knockouts will be a five-day affair.
It is good to see the BCCI giving equal opportunities to all the teams to make it to the next round (2 out of 7 teams per group).
Looking at the groups, Group B seems to be the Group of Death as they have so many teams who are capable of making it to the QFs.