Xtra Time Web Desk: Heavyweights Mumbai, Karnataka and Delhi have been clubbed in a virtual “group of Death” in the Ranji Trophy, which kicks off on January 5 next year. The final will be played in Kolkata from March 16-20.
Along with the multiple Ranji champions, Hyderabad, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand are in the Elite group C.
Defending champion Saurashtra is clubbed with Tamil Nadu, Railways, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Goa in Elite Group D.
Last year’s runner-up, Bengal, has a relatively easy group (Elite B) with Vidarbha, Haryana, Kerala, Tripura and Rajasthan.
Another interesting group is Elite group A which includes Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Services and Assam.
The Elite E group has Andhra, Uttar Pradesh, Baroda, Odisha, Chattisgarh and Pondicherry.
The Plate group will consist of Chandigarh, Meghalya, Bihar, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh.
The six cities where matches are played are Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum and Chennai.
There is a five-day quarantine for teams before each match.
Ranji Trophy Groupings:
Elite A: Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal, Madhya Pradesh, Services and Assam (in Bombay)
Elite B: Bengal, Vidarbha, Rajasthan, Kerala, Haryana and Tripura (in Bengaluru)
Elite C: Karnataka, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand (in Calcutta)
Elite D: Saurashtra, Tamil Nadu, Railways, J&K, Jharkhand and Goa (in Ahmedabad)
Elite E: Andhra, Uttar Pradesh, Baroda, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Pondicherry (in Trivandurm)
Plate: Chandigarh, Meghalaya, Bihar, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Arunachal (in Chennai)