Duleep Trophy to kick off India’s 2023-24 domestic season on June 28
In the earliest start ever for an Indian domestic season, the Duleep Trophy – the inter-zonal first-class competition – will kick off the 2023-24 calendar on June 28, while the Deodhar Trophy – the inter-zonal 50-over tournament – returns after a gap of three years. The season, comprising 1846 matches, will end with the Ranji Trophy, which will run from January 5 to March 14.
The Duleep Trophy and Deodhar Trophy will be played across six zones – Central, South, North, East, West and North-East. The Irani Cup, which will be played between defending Ranji Trophy champions Saurashtra and Rest of India, will begin on October 1.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the domestic T20 tournament, will start on October 16 and run till November 6, while the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the 50-over tournament, will be played between November 23 and December 15. Both tournaments will have 38 teams, divided into two groups of seven teams and three groups of eight teams.
The women’s domestic cricket season will begin with the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy, which will be played from October 19 to November 9. It will be followed by the Senior Women’s Inter-Zonal Trophy, which will commence on November 24 and run till December 4.
After a month’s gap, the Senior Women’s One-Day Trophy will start, on January 4. The final will be played on January 26.
However, the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy, Senior Women’s Inter-Zonal One Day Trophy, Under-19 Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy and Under-19 Women’s Quadrangular, which were all played last season, are missing from this year’s schedule.
The Ranji Trophy, just like the last season, will be played in two divisions – elite and plate. The elite group will have 32 teams, split into four groups of eight each. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals, while the bottom two sides across all four groups combined will be relegated to the plate division next season.
The plate group will have six teams, with the top four making it to the semi-finals. The two finalists will be promoted to the elite division next year.
The Senior Women’s One-Day Trophy, as well as the T20 Trophy, will have two groups of eight teams each and three groups of seven teams each. In both tournaments, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the knockouts. Among them, the teams ranked one to six will directly qualify for quarter-finals, while teams ranked seven to ten will play pre-quarter-finals. The Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, too, will follow similar knockout qualifications.
In the Senior Women’s inter-zonal T20 Cup, which will be played between six zones, the top two teams in the league phase will qualify for the final.
Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo