The Irani Cup (earlier called Irani Trophy) tournament was conceived during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship and was named after the late Z.R. Irani, who was associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928, till his death in 1970. The fixture is played annually between the incumbent Ranji Trophy winners and the Rest of India Team.
The first match, played between the Ranji Trophy champions and the Rest of India was played in 1959-60 with the trophy being instituted in the name of Zal Irani, long time treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and a keen patron of the game. For the first few years, it was played towards the end of the season. Realizing the importance of the fixture, the BCCI moved it to the beginning of the season, and from 1965-66 to 2012-13, it was traditionally heralded the start of the new domestic season. In 2013, it was moved to a date immediately after the Ranji Trophy final, resulting in there being two Irani Cup matches the 2012/13 season. The game has since remained at the end of the season, and is played shortly after the Ranji Trophy final.