The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced that the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 will start on December 1 and conclude on December 29.

According to the previous itinerary, the Vijay Hazare Trophy was scheduled to be played between February 23 and March 26. However, the BCCI has decided to complete the white-ball competitions including Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy in order to give more time to the 38 participating teams to prepare for red-ball cricket.

"The BCCI is working very closely with the government of India, state regulatory authorities, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that our sport achieves a collaborative solution. With this, there is a combined objective for a complete BCCI domestic cricket season 2021-22 to be played, enabling us to maintain the integrity of each competition,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a letter to state bodies.

“The restart date for BCCI domestic cricket season 2021-22 has been reviewed with all stakeholders, as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time. The BCCI will proceed with the full season of domestic cricket starting with Under-19 tournaments (both categories) in September 2021,” he added.

As per the domestic cricket calendar released by BCCI on July 3, the Indian limited-overs domestic competition will have a total of 169 matches in the upcoming season. 

Just like the Ranji Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy will have 38 teams being divided into three Elite Groups - A, B and C and one Plate Group. Group A and B will have nine teams each while Group C and Plate Group will feature 10 teams each.

The Indian cricket board has also announced that the Ranji Trophy will return to the domestic calendar after the 2019-20 season was cancelled owing to the rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

A whopping 2,127 domestic games will be played in the 2021-22 season which includes various age groups and women's tournaments. The Indian domestic season will start with the Senior Women's One Day League on September 21. The calendar also includes Senior Women's One Day Challenger Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has decided to scrap the Irani Cup, Duleep Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy for the upcoming season.

What happened in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020-21?

The Prithvi Shaw-led Mumbai lifted the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020-21 by beating Uttar Pradesh by six wickets in the final at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. With this title, Mumbai have won the Vijay Hazare Trophy four times equalling the record of Karnataka. Interestingly, Tamil Nadu is the most successful team in the competition having won the title on five occasions.

Featured photo: Twitter/MumbaiCricketAssociation