Ranji Trophy is India’s domestic first-class cricket competition which is played between multiple states as well as regional associations. The competition is named after the first Indian cricketer to play international cricket, Colonel H. H. Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II, Jam Saheb of Nawanagar, often known as Ranji or K. S. Ranjitsinhji.

The inaugural edition of the Ranji Trophy was played in the 1934-35 season with Mumbai (Bombay) emerging as the first-ever champions.

Over the years, the tournament has observed several changes in the format. Until 2001, the teams were categorized into five different zones, namely,  North, West, East, South and Central. The central zone was added ahead of the 1952-53 season.

Before the 2002-03 season, the zonal system was replaced by a two-division structure involving the Elite Group and the Plate Group. The Elite Group consisted of as many as 15 teams while the rest of the teams were in the Plate Group.

The competition has further seen many subtle changes to its format since the 2002-03 season. At present, the tournament follows a round-robin format and the teams that qualify go on to compete in the knockout rounds. Teams from all 28 Indian states compete in the tournament along with four of the eight union territories that have at least one representative.

As of the 2021-22 season, a total of 38 teams are divided into eight Elite Groups and one Plate Group. Each Elite Group will have four teams while the Plate Group consists of six teams.

Historically, Mumbai have dominated the Ranji Trophy, winning the competition a record 41 times. None of the other teams have managed to win the title on more than 10 occasions. Furthermore, Mumbai also hold the record for most appearances (46) in the Ranji Trophy final.

The record champions were on a dominant run from the 1953-54 season to the 1972-73 campaign, lifting the title on 18 out of 20 occasions. During this time, only Madras and Baroda could halt Mumbai’s winning run.

After Mumbai, Karnataka have won the most Ranji Trophies (8) followed by Delhi (7) and Baroda (5).

Madhya Pradesh are the reigning champions of the Ranji Trophy, having defeated Mumbai by six wickets in the 2021-22 final to claim their maiden title.

Ranji Trophy winners list

Season Champion Runner-up
1934-35 Bombay Northern India
1935-36 Bombay Madras
1936-37 Nawanagar Bengal
1937-38 Hyderabad Nawanagar
1938-39 Bengal Southern Punjab
1939-40 Maharashtra United Provinces
1940-41 Maharashtra Madras
1941-42 Bombay Mysore
1942-43 Baroda Hyderabad
1943-44 Western India Bengal
1944-45 Bombay Holkar
1945-46 Holkar Baroda
1946-47 Baroda Holkar
1947-48 Holkar Bombay
1948-49 Bombay Baroda
1949-50 Baroda Holkar
1950-51 Holkar Gujarat
1951-52 Bombay Holkar
1952-53 Holkar Bengal
1953-54 Bombay Holkar
1954-55 Madras Holkar
1955-56 Bombay Bengal
1956-57 Bombay Services
1957-58 Baroda Services
1958-59 Bombay Bengal
1959-60 Bombay Mysore
1960-61 Bombay Rajasthan
1961-62 Bombay Rajasthan
1962-63 Bombay Rajasthan
1963-64 Bombay Rajasthan
1964-65 Bombay Hyderabad
1965-66 Bombay Rajasthan
1966-67 Bombay Rajasthan
1967-68 Bombay Madras
1968-69 Bombay Bengal
1969-70 Bombay Rajasthan
1970-71 Bombay Maharashtra
1971-72 Bombay Bengal
1972-73 Bombay Tamil Nadu
1973-74 Karnataka Rajasthan
1974-75 Bombay Karnataka
1975-76 Bombay Bihar
1976-77 Bombay Delhi
1977-78 Karnataka Uttar Pradesh
1978-79 Delhi Karnataka
1979-80 Delhi Bombay
1980-81 Bombay Delhi
1981-82 Delhi Karnataka
1982-83 Karnataka Bombay
1983-84 Bombay Delhi
1984-85 Bombay Delhi
1985-86 Delhi Haryana
1986-87 Hyderabad Delhi
1987-88 Tamil Nadu Railways
1988-89 Delhi Bengal
1989-90 Bengal Delhi
1990-91 Haryana Bombay
1991-92 Delhi Tamil Nadu
1992-93 Punjab Maharashtra
1993-94 Bombay Bengal
1994-95 Bombay Punjab
1995-96 Karnataka Tamil Nadu
1996-97 Mumbai Delhi
1997-98 Karnataka Uttar Pradesh
1998-99 Karnataka Madhya Pradesh
1999-00 Mumbai Hyderabad
2000-01 Baroda Railways
2001-02 Railways Baroda
2002-03 Mumbai Tamil Nadu
2003-04 Mumbai Tamil Nadu
2004-05 Railways Punjab
2005-06 Uttar Pradesh Bengal
2006-07 Mumbai Bengal
2007-08 Delhi Uttar Pradesh
2008-09 Mumbai Uttar Pradesh
2009-10 Mumbai Karnataka
2010-11 Rajasthan Baroda
2011-12  Rajasthan Tamil Nadu
2012-13  Mumbai Saurashtra
2013-14  Karnataka Maharashtra
2014-15  Karnataka Tamil Nadu
2015-16  Mumbai Saurashtra
2016-17  Gujarat Mumbai
2017-18  Vidarbha Delhi
2018-19  Vidarbha Saurashtra
2019-20  Saurashtra Bengal
2020-21 Not held due to Covid-19
2021-22 Madhya Pradesh Mumbai
2022-23 Saurashtra Bengal

Featured photo: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar