Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI President, on Saturday (October 17), said that domestic cricket season in India will "tentatively" begin on January 1, 2021.
"We have had extensive discussions on domestic cricket and we have tentatively decided to start the competitions from January 1, 2021," Ganguly told PTI following the Apex Council Meeting.
Even as it will be difficult for the board to accommodate all the domestic competitions this season due to the prevailing pandemic, Ganguly was confident that an unhindered Ranji Trophy season could be conducted. "We will certainly have the full fledged Ranji Trophy red-ball tournament. It will probably not be possible to hold all tournaments.
"We also have elaborate plans for our age group and womens cricket. We will start with Ranji Trophy and then we will also have the other tournaments between March and April."
The announcement by Ganguly, however, has led to concerns by state associations, who claim that they have not been consulted to understand the prevailing situation and the issues with their respective states. They have also raised concerns over no communication by the board so far with them to address the necessary requirements to hold a tournament which involves 38 state associations participating in it.
"There is a lot that goes on before a state team plays domestic cricket," a state association official told Cricbuzz. "We also have to look at bio bubbles and the challenges of organising matches in these times. At the end of the day, these matches have to be organised by the state units.
For example, with BCCI planning on having junior cricket in March-April, thats the exam season at its peak. "Everyone understands that in these times, its difficult to plan out things, but it would have been better if the BCCI would have had a virtual meeting with all the state units together to understand their worries and suggestions regarding domestic cricket."
The tour of Australia later in the year and the proposed home series against England early next year were among the other issues on the agenda of the meeting. "Cricket Australia has sent us an itinerary and we discussed the modalities of that itinerary. We will be playing four Tests and that will end in the third week of January," Ganguly said.
However, he said, the board is still monitoring the ongoing situation before finalising the details of the England series. "The England series is good three and a half to four months away. We still have time. We are monitoring the situation (COVID-19) which is pretty fluid and will take a call accordingly,"