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Cricket is the most-watched and the favorite sport of the people in India. It is regarded as a festival and celebrated hugely in India. The audience of cricket has no barriers. It is watched by a 5-year-old as well as by a 90-year-old. But what is the professional structure of cricket in India? Cricket is played professionally on various levels in India. Let’s have a look.
- SCHOOL/CLUB LEVEL:
Any journey of a professional player begins at a school or club level. Many schools have their cricket teams which compete at various interschool competitions at the district level. Many competitions are also organized for various clubs having their teams.
First-class cricket can be classified as the highest standard of cricket played on a domestic as well as international level.
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- RANJI TROPHY:
Ranji Trophy is a cricket championship played at a domestic level. The teams participating in Ranji Trophy represent various regional and state cricket associations. There are a total of 38 teams consisting of 28 states and four of the eight union territories competing in the championship.
- DULEEP TROPHY:
Duleep Trophy is a first-class cricket competition played at a domestic level. The competition was named after Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji of Nawanagar. Up until 2014-15, the teams were divided according to the geographical zones of India consisting of teams like North Zone, South Zone, Central Zone, East Zone, and West Zone. However, from 2016-17 only three teams India Red, India Blue, India Green compete with each other.
- IRANI CUP:
The Irani Cup tournament was started during 1959-60 to honor the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship. The cup is named after the late Z.R. Irani who played a crucial role in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The specialty of this tournament is that it is a one-off format played between the winner of the Ranji Trophy and the Rest of the India Team.
LIST A CRICKET
It can be classified as a class of competition where the number of overs played in an inning by a team ranging from forty to sixty on a domestic and international level. ODI’s or one day international is the most popular form of List A cricket.
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- Vijay Hazare Trophy:
The Vijay Hazare Trophy was started in 2002-03. It is a limited-overs format that involves the state teams participating in the Ranji Trophy. The championship is named after the legendary cricketer Vijay Hazare.
- Deodhar Trophy:
It is a List A tournament played on a domestic level. It is played annually and is a 50 over the knockout competition. The teams participating in the competition, play at the national level i.e India A, India B, and India C. The trophy is named after D B Deodhar who is also known as the Grand Old Man of Indian Cricket.
- SENIOR WOMEN’S ONE DAY LEAGUE:
It is a List A women’s tournament administered by BCCI. The tournament consists of 37 teams representing the states from across India who play in a series of divisions.
T20 or also known as Twenty20 is a format of cricket where the number of overs played by each team in an inning is twenty. This format is played on both domestic as well as international levels.
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- SYED MUSHTAQ ALI TROPHY:
It is a domestic level championship played in a Twenty20 format. The championship is organized by BCCI and consists of the teams playing in the Ranji Trophy. The championship was named after the famous test cricketer, Syed Mushtaq Ali.
- INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE:
Indian Premier League or better known as IPL is the most successful Twenty20 format of cricket in India. It is also known as the biggest cricket league in the world. The tournament has fans from all around the world. It was started in 2007 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The competition consists of 8 teams who are named after various cities in India.
The Indian National Cricket team competes with various national teams around the world in the different formats of cricket.
Some of the renowned championships on an international level are:
- ICC Cricket World Cup
- Women’s Cricket World Cup
- ICC Champions Trophy
- Asia Cup
- ICC World Twenty20
- ICC World Test Championship
So, these were the different levels at which cricket is played professionally in India. Even though there are a variety of competitions one thing is for sure: Every tournament showcases the outstanding talent of cricketers and brings out some amazing players in the world of Indian cricket.