Mumbai: Struggling to stay relevant, Duleep Trophy has failed to find a place in the final draft of BCCI’s domestic programme for the upcoming season.
The tournament had been a premier add to the domestic season for 56 years. The calendar has been approved by BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, as per a Times of India report. As per the report, the season begins on October 6 with the Ranji Trophy and will end with the Deodhar Trophy 50 over tournament on March 18, 2018 with a maximum of two weeks separating two tournaments.
The Duleep Trophy was reported to be played with the pink ball and in the same format as last year, Choudhary had said on July 31. The first-class tournament had moved from its traditional inter-zonal format to having three teams – India Blue, India Green and India Red – last season.
“There must be some confusion. It was understood that the tournament will go ahead. Strange that the tournament and fixtures committee has overlooked it,” a member of the technical committee told Times of India on Friday. “This needs to be revisited before the schedule is released,” he added.
The board had shelved the tournament a few years back with the need to test players in the shortest format of the game with an eye on the World T20 in 2016. Last year, Duleep Trophy was squeezed into the calendar in the middle of the monsoon season and played in Greater Noida.
How BCCI does include Duleep Trophy, were it to change their mind, is another challenge. New Zealand A are due to tour India in the middle of September. So finding the top players to play the once-premier tournament would be a tricky task.