|Tournament format||Round-robin then knockout|
|Number of teams||27|
|Current champion||Mumbai (40th title)|
|Most successful||Mumbai (40 titles)|
|Most runs||Wasim Jaffer|
|Most wickets||Rajinder Goel (640)
|2013–14 Ranji Trophy|
The Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between teams representing regional cricket associations, equivalent to the County Championship in England and the Sheffield Shield in Australia. The competition is named after England and Sussex cricketer Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji (Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, also known as "Ranji"). The 2013 Ranji Trophy was won by Mumbai, who won their 40th title by defeating Saurashtra by an innings and 125 runs on 28 January 2013.
The competition was launched as "The Cricket Championship of India" following a meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in July 1934, with the first fixtures taking place in 1934–35. The trophy was donated by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. The first Ranji Trophy Championship was won by Bombay after they defeated North India in the final. Syed Mohammed Hadi of Hyderabad was the first batsman to score a hundred.
State teams and cricket associations and clubs with first-class status are qualified to play in the Ranji Trophy. While most association are regional, like the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and Mumbai Cricket Association some are pan-Indian like Railways and Services.
Defunct Ranji Trophy Teams
The following sides have appeared in the Ranji Trophy, but no longer do so: Southern Punjab (1934/35-1967/68), Sind (1934/35-1947/48), Northern India (1934/35-1946/47), Central Provinces & Berar (1934/35-1949/50), Western India (1934/35-1945/46), North West Frontier Province (1937/38-1946/47), Holkar (1941/42-1954/55) Gwalior (1943/44), Kathiawar (1946/47-1949/50), Patiala/Patiala and Eastern Punjab States Union (1948/49 , 1953/54-1958/59), Eastern Punjab (1950/51-1959/60), Madhya Bharat (1955/56-1956/57), Northern Punjab (1960/61-1967/68).
From its inception until the 2001–02 season, the teams were grouped geographically into four or five zones – North, West, East, and South, with Central added in 1952–53. Initial matches were played within the zones on a knock-out basis until 1956–57, and thereafter on a league basis, to determine a winner. Then, the individual zone winners competed in a knock-out tournament, leading to a final which decided the winner of the Ranji Trophy. In the 1970–71 season, the knock-out stage was expanded to the top two teams from each zone, a total of ten qualifying teams. This was expanded again to the top three from each zone in 1992–93, a total of fifteen qualifying teams; between 1996–97 and 1999–2000, the fifteen qualifying teams competed in a secondary group stage, with three groups of five teams, and the top two from each group qualifying for the knock-out stage. In all other years, a full fifteen-team knock-out tournament was held.
The format was changed in the 2002–03 season with the zonal system abandoned and a two-division structure adopted – the Elite Group, containing fifteen teams, and the Plate Group, containing the rest. Each group has two sub-groups who play a round-robin; the top two from each sub-group then contest a knock-out tournament to determine the winner. The team which finishes last in each Elite sub-group is relegated, and both Plate Group finalists are promoted, for the following season. For the 2006–07 season, the divisions were re-labelled the Super League and Plate League respectively.
In the 2008–09 season, another format was adopted to allow Plate Group teams to contest the Ranji Trophy. The top two from each Plate sub-group contest semi-finals; the winners of these two matches then join the top three from each Super League sub-group in an eight-team knock-out tournament. The winner of this knock-out tournament then wins the Ranji Trophy. In 2010–11 season, history was created when a plate group team (Rajasthan) not only entered into the Elite Group but went on to win their maiden Ranji Trophy final.
From the 2012–13 season, the format was revamped completely. The Super and plate groups were cancelled and in place, a format with three groups (A, B and C) was created. Three teams from group A & B, and two from group C, proceed to knockouts. The lowest placed team of Group A is relegated to Group B for the following season, while the lowest placed group B team is relegated to group C. The top group C team is promoted to group B and the top group B team is promoted to group A. The knockout format remains the same, except that to get an outright result in the final, a sixth day is now available instead of the previous five day limit.
Knock-out matches in the Ranji Trophy are decided on the first innings result if the final result is a draw.
Round-robin matches are 4 days in length; knockout matches are played for five days, the same length as a Test match.
Points in the league stages of both divisions are currently awarded as follows:
|Bonus point (for innings and 10 wicket wins)||1|
|1st innings lead||3 *|
|1st Innings deficit||1 *|
note* – If match ends in a draw.
For a complete list of teams which have played in the competition at some point during its history, see Ranji Trophy – Historical Note.
† Some sources credit Goel with 636 or 637 wickets instead – see Rajinder Goel article for details.
Finals appearances by team
The Bombay\Mumbai cricket team has played in 44 of the 68 Finals through 2013 and have won 40 Ranji Trophy championships, the most of any team.
References and notes