Cricket is the most watched and popular sport in India. It arrived in India through the British during their Colonial rule. The Parsi Community in Bombay formed the first Cricket Club in India- Oriental Cricket Club- first to be established by Indians. After which there was a slow progression Cricket in India. Finally, in 1877, Europeans invited Parsis to play against them. By the 20th century, few Indians like Ranjitsinhji and KS Duleepsinhji went on to play for the England cricket team.
The Board of Cricket Council in India have scheduled an enormous number of 2017 matches over the next domestic season in India. This number is inclusive of 25 tournaments played in India, covering Senior men, Men U-23, Men U-19, Men U-16, Inter-University, Women Senior, Women U-23 and Women U-19 categories. However, this number does not include the Indian Premier League. All these competitions make sure that talent doesn’t slip out. More Importantly, they provide maximum exposure to a cricketer before he arrives on the International stage. All these tournaments give opportunities to a number of players in India. However, we have made a list of top tournaments to follow in both Men and Women’s Cricket.
The BCCI hosts a bunch of tournaments for Men category. It starts right from the U-16 category and also covers U-19, U-23 and Senior men categories. However, we would be covering the Senior Men’s domestic tournaments in order of which it will happen. The Domestic Season of Cricket begins in August and goes on until Summer of the following year when there is the summer gap or time for World Cup.
The 2018-19 Domestic Cricket season in India begins with the Duleep Trophy. The Duleep Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket competition in India. It is named after Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji of Nawanagar who is also known as “Duleep”, the competition was originally contested by teams representing geographical zones of India. Since 2016-17, a few changes have been made. It is played by teams chosen by BCCI selectors; as well as only three teams- India Red, India Blue and India Green. The Tournament also sees a shift in format from Knock-out to Tri Series and matches will proceed under Flood Lights.
North Zone and West Zone have been the most successful teams with 18 wins each. India Red, led by Dinesh Karthik won the 2017-18 Duleep Trophy.
Vijay Hazare Trophy
The Vijay Hazare trophy follows Duleep Trophy. It is named after Prominent Indian Batsman-Vijay Hazare. It is in its 27th Edition. Since its inauguration in the 1993-94 season, The Vijay Hazare Trophy lives through various format changes. Until 2001-02, no finals were held. Teams consequently played only within their zones, with no overall winner named. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, a final round-robin stage was held for the top teams in each zone. Since the 2004–05 tournament, it follows a full finals series (including semi-finals and afinal), with varying formats.
Since 2002-03, Tamil Nadu has won the tournament 5 times. The most recent winner is Karnataka for the 2017-18 season under Karun Nair‘s captainship. The 2018-19 season will see 160 one-day matches played between 28 state teams and starts in September 2018.
The Deodhar Trophy is an A-List Competition in India. It is named after the grand old man of Indian cricket- Dinkar Balwant Deodhar. Just like the Duleep trophy, it started out as a Zonal Tournament in 1973-74. Until 2015-16 two zonal teams played in a quarter-final, with the winner joining the other three zonal teams in the semi-finals. From there, it was a simple knockout tournament. However, from the 2015-16 season with the winners of Vijay Hazare Trophy play against two teams – India A and India B– selected by the BCCI.
The trophy is in its 46th edition, sees North Zone win a record 13 times in the old format. India B is the defending champions after defeating Karnataka in the 2017–18 Deodhar Trophy final.
The Ranji Trophy started back in the 1934-35 season and is named after KS Ranjit Sinhji Vibhaji, the Prince of Nawanagar. The Ranji Trophy is the premier domestic cricket competition of India. Teams representing regional and state cricket associations battle against each other to win this prestigious tourney. With time, Ranji Trophy has survived many changes in formats. It started out as a Zonal Competition, changed to a two-tier league-cum-knockout format which then started to include relegation and promotion between the tiers.
Currently, a total of 37 teams will take part in the Ranji Trophy this year, which includes 9 new teams. The tournament will have nine teams each in Elite Group A and B. The Elite Group C will have 10 teams and nine new teams are in the Plate group category.
Top five teams from Group A and B combined will get through the knockout rounds, along with the top two teams from Group C and the table topper of the Plate Group. From the 2016–17 competition the BCCI told it will be hosting all games at a neutral venue, rather than the home and away system.
Vidarbha is the defending champions of the tournament. Mumbai(Bombay) has won the tournament most number of times- 41, including 15 back-to-back wins. The 2018-19 edition begins in November 2018 and will complete in February 2019.
On completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy Championship, The BCCI inaugurated the Irani Trophy in the name of late Z R Irani in 1960. Irani Cup sees a match between the Ranji Trophy champions of the preceding year and a selected Rest of India XI. The Irani Cup is in its 57th edition and follows a one-off match format. The tournament scheduling during the season has changed a couple of times. Until the 1965-66 season, it happened during the end of the domestic season. However, then until, 2012-13 season, it happened at the beginning of the season. Since 2013, it happens immediately after the Ranji Trophy.
Rest of India has won this cup, a record 28 times. However, Vidarbha capped of their Ranji trophy win by winning the 56th edition of the Irani Cup of 2017-18 season.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
This trophy was introduced in the year 2008-09. This is the kind of zonal T20 Championship. The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is a Twenty20 cricket domestic championship in India, organized by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), among the teams from Ranji Trophy. The 2008-09 season was the inaugural season for this trophy. It is named after a famous Indian cricketer, Syed Mushtaq Ali. This is a platform for the domestic players to prepare for the Indian Premier League. The Tournament follows a Round Robin format.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy will also comprise 37 teams of Ranji Trophy. In the tenth edition, it will have five groups, with three groups containing seven teams and two groups with eight teams. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the Super League section of the tournament, with the teams split into two further groups of five teams. The top two teams from each of the Super League groups will progress to the final.
Delhi is the defending champions of the tournament. Baroda has won the tournament most number of times-2. The 2018-19 edition begins in February 2019 and will complete in March 2019.
Indian Premier League (IPL) is the latest, and one of the biggest revolutions in Indian cricket. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) runs the Twenty- 20 format tournament in India. It follows a Double round-robin league and Playoffs format. The IPL, caps of the Domestic Cricket Season in India. The tournament started in 2008, after the First T-20 World Cup, in Which India were the Champions. Within 10 editions, IPL has not only revolutionised Cricket but also the Sports Industry in India. It provides an opportunity for young talent to play and learn with the topmost international players in the world.
The BCCI also organises various tournaments at the U-23, U-19 and U-16 category for men. All these domestic tournaments in India have given Indian Cricket players enough practice, experience, and also the exposure to dominate International Cricket. These leagues and Competitions have led to the creation of Legendary Cricketing Players like Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Ganguly, M.S Dhoni, Virat Kolhi and many more. Currently, India Men Team Ranks 1st in the ICC Test Cricket and 2nd in both ODI and T20I.
Just like the Senior Men Cricket, Senior Women Domestic season usually begins in August and ends in February next year. The BCCI organises around 11 tournaments for Women in India. Top Domestic tournaments for Senior Women are:
Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy
The domestic season for Senior Women begins with the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy. BCCI introduced this tournament in the 2018-19 season for the first time. 3 teams- India Blue, India Red and India Green battle each other to win this tournament. It follows a double Round-robin tournament and Final Format.
India Blue Women defeated India Red women by 4 runs and thus winning the inaugural edition.
Senior Women’s One Day League
Senior Women’s One Day League is a women’s list-A tournament in India. It started back in the 2006–07 Indian domestic cricket season. 27 State teams participate and battle for glory in the Competition. However, Railway Women have won the competition 10 times out of 11. The only other team to win this competition are Delhi. It follows a double Round-robin tournament and Final Format.
Senior Women’s One Day Challenger Trophy
The Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy is Indian women’s one-day cricket tournament. It is established in the 2008–09 season. Since then, its purpose is showcasing the talent that the country has, as well as providing opportunities for younger players to make an impression.
India A, India B and India Senior were the first three teams to play in the inaugural edition of the Challenger Trophy. The following year, teams were renamed to Blue, Green and Red. However, since 2012-13 India green was made an Under-19 team. India Blue has won the tournament 5 times. The current champions are the India Blue. The 2018-19 season happens in January 2019.
Senior Women’s T20 League
The domestic season for Senior Women ends with the Senior Women’s T20 League. 27 domestic teams compete in this tournament. 2008/09 was the inaugural year. Since then it happens every year. The League sees 133 matches played between various state women teams in a round robin and playoff format.
2017–18 Senior women’s T20 league is the 10th season and Delhi Women emerged as winners. Railways women are the most successful team by winning the competition a record 8 times. The 2018-19 edition will begin in February 2019.
Indian Women’s Premier League
The success of the World Cup prompted the International Cricket Council to promote a greater role for women’s cricket. BCCI following in their footstep aims to launch a women’s edition of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament in the next three years. As part of the build-up, top international women players took part in a Twenty20 exhibition game at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, before the IPL opening ceremony in 2018.
Since India reached the final of the women’s World Cup in England last year, there has been enormous pressure to start a Women’s edition of IPL.
The BCCI also organises various tournaments at the U-23 and U-19 category for women. All these domestic tournaments in India have given Indian Cricket players enough practice, experience, and also the exposure to dominate International Cricket. These leagues and Competitions have led to the creation of Legendary Cricketing Players like Mitahli Raj, Smriti Mandhana, Anjum Chopra and many more. Currently, Indian Women team sits 4th in the ICC Women’s World Rankings.