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BCCI postpones Ranji Trophy, CK Nayudu Trophy, women's T20 league due to rising Covid-19 cases

Last season's winners Saurashtra pose with the Ranji Trophy ESPNcricinfo Ltd

The BCCI has postponed the upcoming Ranji Trophy, CK Nayudu Trophy and the senior women's T20 league for the 2021-22 season because of the rising Covid-19 cases in India. The Ranji Trophy and CK Nayudu Trophy were set to begin this month whereas the women's league was scheduled to start in February.

"BCCI does not want to compromise the safety of the players, support staff, match officials and other participants involved and hence, has decided to put the three tournaments on hold till further notice. The BCCI will continue to assess the situation and take a call on the start of the tournaments accordingly," BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a release on Tuesday.

The men's domestic first-class competition was scheduled to start on January 13 at multiple venues across six cities: Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum and Chennai.

Last week, the board had also postponed the Under-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy, which was scheduled to begin in January 2022, following the fresh surge of Covid-19 cases and the growing threat of the Omicron variant.

On January 3 it emerged that six Bengal players and their assistant coach had tested positive for Covid-19. Mumbai allrounder Shivam Dube and the team's video analyst had also tested positive prior to the team's departure for Kolkata.

The Ranji Trophy was supposed to be held after two seasons, after it was cancelled for the first time in its 85-year history last season. Recently, the BCCI had also started to disburse the match fees it owed to hundreds of domestic cricketers - male and female - for the numerous tournaments that had to be shelved due to Covid-19 in the 2020-21 season.

More to follow...