Domestic cricket reforms: BCCI eliminates toss in CK Nayudu Trophy | Cricket News

Mumbai: In an unprecedented move, BCCI secretary Jay Shah, while announcing “the salient features of the Domestic Cricket Calendar for the 2024-25 season,” revealed that the Board has eliminated the toss in the CK Nayudu Trophy (for men’s Under-23) matches for the 2024-25 season, with the visiting team now having the right to choose whether to bat or bowl first.
“The toss will be eliminated for the CK Nayudu Trophy matches. Instead, the visiting team will have the right to choose whether to bat or bowl first,” Shah stated while announcing the salient features of the domestic cricket calendar for the 2024-25 season.
The idea, clearly, is to end the trend of home teams doctoring pitches, mostly spinning tracks, and winning under-23 matches, which are just one level below the Ranji Trophy, and thus hold huge importance in the domestic system.
This is the first time that the BCCI had done away with the toss, a vital element of the game, in domestic cricket. In a similar love, the English Cricket Board had eliminated the toss in County Championship games for four seasons -from 2016 to 2019 seasons, before reintroducing it from the 2020 season.
Introducing another novel move in the CK Nayudu Trophy, Shah announced that the BCCI “will implement a new points system aimed at promoting balanced performances. This includes awarding points for batting and bowling performances in the first innings, in addition to points for the first innings lead or outright win.” A similar points system for batting and bowling performances is prevalent in the English County Championship.
If this system is found to be working well, the BCCI will introduce it in the Ranji Trophy next season. “A review will be conducted at the end of the season to assess the effectiveness of the new points system, with a decision on whether to implement it in the Ranji Trophy for the following season,” Shah stated.
These recommendations-which also include splitting the Ranji Trophy into two phases and allowing the national selectors to pick four Duleep Trophy teams- were made by a specially-formed four-member committee to revamp domestic cricket, which included India’s head coach Rahul Dravid, National Cricket Academy chairman VVS Laxman chief selector Ajit Agarkar and BCCI GM cricket operations Abey Kuruvilla. Shah has now sent these recommendations to the Apex Council for its approval.
Ranji Trophy split in two phases
Meanwhile, in another crucial decision, the BCCI announced that the Ranji Trophy will be held in two phases-with the first five games of the tournament being played after the Duleep Trophy, which will kick off the domestic season, and the Irani Cup, followed by the white-ball tournaments-the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The last two Ranji league matches and the knockout stages being held at the end of the domestic season.
While the BCCI didn’t issue the dates of the tournaments, the timing of the start of the Ranji Trophy has been advanced to perhaps October after many teams complained of their matches in the North and East Zone being hampered by bad weather in January, when the Ranji began last season. “Careful consideration has been given to scheduling matches to minimize the impact of weather disruptions,” Shah stated.
Duleep Trophy teams to be picked by national selectors
The 2024-25 domestic season will kick off with the Duleep Trophy, which will feature four teams, to be picked by the national selectors. It seems that the BCCI has done away with the zonal system in the Duleep Trophy after reintroducing it a couple of seasons back.
Gap between matches to be increased
Following a suggestion by India’s pace bowling allrounder Shardul Thakur in March, the BCCI has decided to increase the gap between the Ranji Trophy matches from just the three days currently.
“There will be an increased gap between matches to allow players sufficient time for recovery and to maintain peak performance throughout the season,” Shah said.
In March, Thakur had suggested more than just a three-day gap between Ranji Trophy matches in order to prevent injuries to the players. “It’s difficult because we are playing First-Class matches with three-day gaps and I don’t think it has ever happened. If the boys keep playing like this for two more seasons, there will be a lot of injuries across the country,” he had cautioned.
Regarding women’s cricket, the BCCI has decided that all the Women’s Inter-zonal tournaments, including One-Day, T20, and Multi-day formats, will have teams selected by the national selectors, Shah informed.


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