The Vijay Hazare trophy is all set to take place from from February 20 to March 14 in six cities, though Delhi has again been ignored. Thirty-eight teams will compete in the tournament and they have been split into six groups, the BCCI has announced. Teams have now been divided into each groups. Teams in the Elite Groups A, B, C, D, and E will play across different venues in Surat, Indore, Bengaluru, Jaipur, and Kolkata respectively while the Plate group teams will play matches in Chennai. The tournament has a big viewership in India and has been a very successful one over the years. Tamil Nadu team was the runners-up in the last edition who managed to win the recently finished Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and they will start as one of the strong favourites. After all the pandemic restrictions and protocols, India has been going through, this will be a big relief for the cricket fans in India.
The COVID-19 protocols will be strictly followed as the players have to assemble in the location a week before the start of the tournament which is February 13. The players will undergo quarantine and there will be three COVID-19 tests on February 13,15 and 17 while the practice session will be held on February 18 and February 19. The league phase of the Vijay Hazare Trophy is scheduled to take place from February 20 until March 1. The knockout stages will start with a pre-quarterfinal on March 7 followed by quarterfinals on March 8 and 9. The semi-finals will be taking place on March 11 and the final will be held on March 14. The venues for the knockouts have not yet been announced by BCCI while the teams qualifying for the knockouts have to undergo another two Covid-19 tests on March 2 and 4.
Karnataka will enter the tournament as the defending champions. They had defeated Tamil Nadu in the final.
The knockout stages will start with a pre-quarterfinal on March 7 followed by quarterfinals on March 8 and March 9. The semifinals will be taking place on March 11 and the final will be held on March 14. The venues for the knockouts have not yet been announced by BCCI while the teams qualifying for the knockouts have to undergo another two COVID-19 tests on March 2 and March 4.
Here are the groups of the tournament
Elite A (Surat): Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Hyderabad, Baroda, and Goa
Elite B (Indore): Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Jharkhand, MP, Vidarbha, and AP
Elite C (Bangalore): Karnataka, UP, Kerala, Odisha, Railways, and Bihar
Elite D (Jaipur): Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, HP, Rajasthan, and Pondicherry
Elite E (Kolkata): Bengal, Services, J&K, Saurashtra, Haryana, and Chandigarh
Plate (Tamil Nadu, city TBC): Uttarakhand, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Sikkim