Ranji trophy is the first domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between different city and state sides. It is very similar in pattern to the County Championship in England. It is undoubtedly the most important tournament in India's domestic cricket season. Players who perform well in the Ranji have a very fair chance to play for India at the international level; this is why Ranji turns out to be one of the finest exhibitions of India’s young cricket talent. Not only selectors but also the cricket crazy people in the country look forward to this tournament. It is organized by BCCI, The Board of Control for Cricket in India every year.
The first Ranji Trophy took place in the 1934-35. It was then thought to be named as the ‘The Cricket Championship of India’. However, later the name was kept Ranji, after Sir Ranjitsinghji Vibhaji of Nawanagar, who has the honor of playing test cricket for England and is widely regarded as one of the finest batsmen the game has ever seen. The trophy was donated by the then Maharaja of Patiala, H.H. Bhupender Singh to the BCCI. The first Ranji was own by the team of Bombay won the first Ranji Trophy Championship by defeating North India.
Most of the teams playing Ranji Trophy have regional associations; amongst them most of the teams represent different states of the country. However, there are some institutional teams such as Railways and Services which do not have regional link-ups. There are also teams that do not represent states or institutions but individual cities such as Mumbai or Hyderabad. The grouping of teams in Ranji in its initial stage was done on the zonal basis till 2002-2003 and there were five groups, each from the North, South, East, West and Central Zone. However after 2002-2003, the pattern of Elite Group and the Plate Group was introduced. In 2006-2007, the groups were relabeled as the Super League and Plate League.
Pattern of Play
The pattern of the Ranji Tournament is ‘Test Cricket Format’ and the entry into the finals in done in a ‘knock out’ pattern. There are two groups of team in the Plate league, each consisting of six individual teams. On the similar basis, the Super League is divided into two groups of team with eight each consisting of eight individual teams. The top two teams of each group of the Plate League are then made to play a knock out session with the three top teams of the each group of the Super League. The two top teams after this knock out session then play against each other in the finals. The decision of the grouping of next season is also done here in advance. The bottom two teams of the Super League are then relegated to the Plate League for the next season and the top two teams of the plate League are introduced to the Super League for the next season.
Ranji Trophy Statistics