All the Ins and Outs of India’s Popular Ranji Trophy

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ranji trophy

The Ranji Trophy is an Indian first-class cricket tournament that is contested by a number of teams that represent state and regional cricket associations. Since its inception, it has gained a lot of popularity and is just like the county cricket that is very popular in England. In fact, those that play well regularly in this competition have a great chance of getting selected to play for the Indian national team, so it is a competition that is taken seriously. Keep on reading to find out more.

In What Year Was the Ranji Trophy Born?

In July 1934, India’s Board of Control of Cricket had a meeting and during it they decided that it was time to launch the Ranji Trophy, which was originally known as The Cricket Championship of India.

As a result, the very fixture took place on the 4th of November, 1934, between Madras and Mysore. The home side scored 130 runs in their first innings, while Mysore only managed 48 runs and then 59 runs when they were asked to follow on. Therefore, Madras won by an innings and 23 runs with five minutes remaining of the first day’s play.

Some Fun Facts about the Ranji Trophy

 

The tournament was named after Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, who was the first Indian to play international cricket. However, he played for England after he made a name for himself playing with Sussex. He made his test debut for England in 1986 against Australia and went on to play fifteen tests, amassing 989 runs (including two centuries and 6 half-centuries) at an average of 44.95.

Between 1960 and 1974, Rajasthan reached thefinal of this competition eight times and lost every single time. However, they broke that duck when they won the 2010/11 and 2011/12 tournaments.

Hyderabad once scored 944/declared which is the highest ever score in the history of this competition. They were also once bowled out for a mere 21 runs, which is the lowest score ever seen in this tournament.

Bombay, now known as Mumbai, won the tournament fifteen years in a row between 1958 and 1973. In fact, they have won the competition a whopping 41 times from 46 appearances in the final.

Hyderabad’s Syed Mohammed Hadi was the first player to score a century.

The army and railway services also have their own teams in the tournament. The Railways have won the tournament twice, while the Army Services have appeared in two finals, but lost them both.

Feel free to share these interesting facts with your friends and family members. You never know, they might be mightily impressed by your in-depth knowledge about the oldest cricket tournament in India.

What Teams Will You Find in the Indian Ranji Trophy?

At this moment in time, there are 37 teams that compete in this tournament. In the table below you will find all the teams that are currently competing as well as when the first entered the competition.

TeamFirst Appearance
Andhra1953-54
Arunachal Pradesh2018-19
Assam1948-49
Baroda1956-57
Bengal1934-35
Bihar1936-37
Chhattisgarh2016-2017
Delhi1934-35
Goa1985-86
Gujarat1950-51
Haryana1986-87
Himachal Pradesh1985-86
Hyderabad (Telangana)1934-35
Jammu and Kashmir1959-60
Jharkhand2004-05
Karnataka (Mysore)1934-35
Kerala1957/58
Madhya Pradesh1934/35
Maharashtra1935/35
Manipur2018/19
Meghalaya2018/19
Mizoram2018/19
Mumbai (Bombay)1934-35
Nagaland2018-19
Odisha (Orissa)1949-50
Puducherry2018-19
Punjab1968-69
Railways1934-35
Rajasthan (Rajputana)1936-36
Saurashtra (Kathiawar/Nawanagar)1950-51
Sikkim2018/19
Services (Army)1949-50
Tamil Nadu (Madras)1935-35
Tripura1985-86
Uttar Pradesh (United Provinces)1934-35
Uttarakhand2018-19
Vidarbha1957-58

 

N.B. This table just shows when each team that takes part at the moment first participated in this tournament. It does not necessarily mean that they have played in every single competition since.

Ranji Trophy Cricket Format and Points System

From the 1934-35 season right up until 2001, all the teams were grouped together in four or five zones (South, North, East, West, and Central), depending on their geography. Matches were played on an elimination basis until the 1956-57 season and then as a league. The five winners from each zone then played a knock-out tournament, which ended in a final to decide the winners of the Ranji Trophy.

For the 1970-71 season, two teams from the different zones made it past the elimination stage, meaning ten teams qualified for the next round. The competition followed the same format right up until the 1992-92 season, when three teams made it past the elimination stage, meaning fifteen teams qualified for the knock-out tournament. From the 1996-97 season to the 1999-2000 season, the fifteen teams that qualified played a second group stage (three groups with five teams), with the two qualifying for a six-team elimination stage.

This all changed for the 2002-03 season when the zonal system was dispatched, and two-group structure was adopted – the Elite group and the Plate. The former contained fifteen teams, while the latter contained the rest. Each group was divided into two, in a round-robin format, with the top two teams in the Elite sub-groups would then play a four-team knock-out competition to determine the champions. The team that finished bottom in the Elite sub-groups were relegated, with both the Plate finalists getting promoted. In 2006, the divisions became the Super League and the Plate League.

This changed for the 2008-09 season in order to give the Super and Plate teams an equal opportunity to play for the Ranji Trophy. The top two teams from the Plate sub-groups played semi-finals, with the two winners joining the top three teams from the two Super groups in a knock-out competition.

For the 2012-13 campaign, the format changed slightly again. The Super and Plate leagues were dispatched, but a two-tier system was kept. The top tier became eighteen teams instead of fifteen, split into two sub-groups of nine (Group A and Group B), while the second tier was reduced to nine teams (Group C). The top three teams in A and B and the top two from C contested the knock-out phase. The teams that finished bottom in A and B were relegated to C, while the two that finished top in C were promoted.

The two-tier system was dispatched in 2017, with four groups of seven teams taking its place. The top two in each group went through to the quarter-finals.

In the 2018-19 season, three tiers were introduced. Five teams qualified for the quarters from the top tier (called Elite Group A and B), two teams qualified from the second tier (Elite Group C), and one team from the lower tier (Plate Group).

The round-robin matches are four days long, while the knock-out games are five days long.

Points Summary

Scenario

Points

Win outright

6

Bonus Point (for innings or ten wicket win)

1

1st innings lead in a drawn game

3

No result

1

1st innings deficit in a drawn game

1

Lose outright

0

What Teams Have Lifted the Ranji Trophy?

In the table below you will find all the teams that have won the Ranji Trophy at least once. As you can see, Mumbai have dominated this tournament over the years.

Winners

Number of Times

Bombay (Mumbai)

41

Mysore (Karnataka)

8

Delhi

7

Baroda

5

Madhya Pradesh/Holkar

4

Vidarbha

2

Bengal

2

Tamil Nadu

2

Rajasthan

2

Hyderabad

2

Maharashtra

2

Railways

2

Saurashtra (Kathiawar/Nawanagar)

2

Uttar Pradesh/United Provinces

1

Punjab/Southern Punjab

1

Haryana

1

Gujarat

1

Read Our Ranji Trophy League Prognostics

We have predictions available for many Ranji Trophy matches, so don’t hesitate to have a look if you are in interested in placing some bets. The tips that we provide will definitely go a long way to helping you win some money.

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