Vijay Hazare Trophy is limited overs domestic competition that involves different state teams from India to fight against each other for the title. The tournament is administered by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) only and is played among 27 teams which are categorized in five zones.
Central Zone- Madhya Pradesh, Railways, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Vidarbha
East Zone- Assam, Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and Tripura
North Zone- Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Services
South Zone- Andhra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Hyderabad
West Zone- Baroda, Gujarat, Saurashtra, Maharashtra and Mumbai
The first edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy was played back in 1993-94 but no overall winner was used to be named as the teams just played against counterparts without any final being played.
In 2002-03, the first finals was played where Tamil Nadu emerged as the winner in the penultimate match against Punjab.
2018-19 Vijay Hazare Trophy
The 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy will be its 17th edition which is scheduled to be played from September 19 to October 20, 2018. This year, an addition of 10 teams has been made to existing list of 27 participants that used to play till the last year.
The 10 teams are Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.
The 37 teams have been divided into four groups where Group A contains Baroda, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Punjab, Railways and Vidarbha.
Group B consists of Andhra, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Saurashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
Group C comprise of Assam, Bengal, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Services, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.
The Plate Group will have Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Bihar.
Defending Champions and the three-time winners Karnataka will definitely start as one of the contenders for winning the again yet again. With the likes of heavyweights like Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal and Vinay Kumar along with domestic giants like Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal and Stuart Binny, this team has a strong chance of once again clinching the title.
The extremely batting heavy side Mumbai may also have a strong chance this year. The list of batsmen includes the names of Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav and Siddhesh Lad along with Aditya Tare.
The sides of Delhi and Saurashtra are the other two sides that may grab the title this year. With the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant, Unmukt Chand, Nitish Rana, Pawan Negi and Navdeep Saini in Delhi while Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Robin Uthappa and Jaydev Unadkat in Saurashtra can provide their respective teams a very strong chance of winning the title this year.
After a continuous successful domestic circuit, all eyes will be on Mayank Agarwal (Karnataka), Prithvi Shaw (Mumbai) and Dhruv Shorey (Delhi), Mohammed siraj (Hyderabad) and prasidh Krishna (Karnataka)). Players like Rishabh Pant (Delhi), Hanuma Vihari (Andhra), Rahane (Mumbai) are also expected to grab all attentions.