New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) The 2019-20 Ranji Trophy champions Saurashtra will host the Rest of India in Rajkot in an Irani Cup match from October 1 to 5.
Saurashtra had won the Ranji final in March 2020, beating Bengal on the basis of their first-innings lead. They were due to play the Irani Cup a week later, but that tournament had to be called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the Covid-19 continuing to sweep India, there was no red-ball domestic cricket in the 2020-21 season. Even the Ranji Trophy was cancelled for the first time in 87 years. India’s premier domestic cricket tournament returned in the 2021-22 season and Madhya Pradesh won the title after beating Mumbai by six wickets in the final in June.
As per an ESPNcricinfo report, the BCCI has now given Saurashtra a belated chance to play the Irani Cup, which returns after two years. However, it is not yet clear when MP, the current Ranji champions, will get to contest the Irani Cup.
It has been learnt that the current Ranji champions will play their match at the end of the season.
“It is very heartening that the Domestic Season 2022-23 of BCCI is to be played in full swing and Irani Cup is to be played after two long years,” the Saurashtra Cricket Association said in a statement on Sunday.
“With the good representation of Mr. Jaydev Shah, President, Saurashtra Cricket Association, BCCI has kindly considered to play Irani Cup in the earlier format, i.e. Irani Cup used to be played between the Ranji Trophy champion of previous year vs Rest of India.
Saurashtra Cricket Association sincerely thank Shri Jaybhai Shah, Hon. Secretary, BCCI and all at BCCI for kindly considering Saurashtra Cricket Association’s request to host and play the prestigious Irani Cup 2022,” it added.
The last edition of the Irani Cup was held in February 2019, when Vidarbha beat the Rest of India on the basis of first-innings lead in Nagpur.