The first phase of Ranji Trophy will take place from February 10-March 15 and “post IPL” phase from May 30-June 26, BCCI secretary Jay Shah informed state units on Thursday.
Shah’s letter made it clear that it is set to be one of the shortest first-class seasons with most teams getting to play only three matches which effectively means that increased match fees will not have an impact on most of the teams that will be ousted at the group league stage.
As PTI reported earlier, four teams each have been divided into eight elite groups while the remaining six form the plate division.
The tournament will have 64 games in 62 days with the first phase comprising 57 matches and the second stage having seven knock-out games which comprises four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and the final.
The elite group matches will be played in Rajkot, Cuttack, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, Delhi, Haryana and Guwahati. Plate league matches will be held in Kolkata.
Each team from elite group, barring one, will qualify for the quarterfinals. The lowest ranked qualified team from elite group will play plate toppers in the sole pre-quarterfinal.