But, Indian players in various Indian Premier League (IPL) teams won’t be able to play the first few rounds due to the quarantine protocols in place. The delay in the start of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic means that only Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Ranji Trophy (December 13-March 10) will be played.
There will be no Vijay Hazare Trophy, Duleep Trophy or the Challenger Series this year and as of now, there is no provision for Irani Cup too. While this is a draft schedule, it is being asked how the Indian players, who will return from IPL, will play the first few matches since they will have to be in a 14-day quarantine.
With BCCI expecting to conduct the next IPL in India, starting end of March or early April, it is imperative that it keeps a three-week window between the Ranji final and the beginning of the league. Unlike the last two years where five teams with most points qualified from group A and B, the top two teams from group A, B and C will qualify for the quarter-finals this season.
The seventh quarter-finalist will be the best third-placed team (in terms of quotient) from all three groups. The eighth team will be the winner of a play-off game between the champions of group D (comprising minnows and relegated teams) and group E (six North East teams).