New Delhi [India], Sep.2 (ANI
): The 83rd edition of the Ranji Trophy championship will be played at neutral venues from October 6, announced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI
) on Friday while unveiling the fixtures for the domestic tournaments to be played in 2016-17.
The much-awaited national cricket championship will see new entrant Chhattisgarh, which will be placed as the tenth team of 'Group C', and will make their first-class debut against Tripura in Ranchi.
Defending champions Mumbai are placed in 'Group A' along with last season's semi-finalists Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Railways.
Meanwhile, last season's runners-up Saurashtra have been promoted to 'Group B', which also include Assam, eight-time champions Karnataka and seven-time winners Delhi.
Two relegated sides namely Haryana and Andhra will form 'Group C', along with Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Hyderabad.
The matches of the Ranji Trophy are scheduled to be played across 40 neutral venues, including two new hosts Raipur and Belgaum.
Unlike the 2015-16 season, limited-overs competition- Vijay Hazare
Trophy and the newly-proposed inter-zonal T20 tournament for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will played after the conclusion of the Ranji Trophy, ESPNcricinfo reported.
India's domestic calendar, which began with the Duleep Trophy
on August 23, will conclude with the 50-over competition, the Deodhar Trophy, on March 29.
The semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy
will be held from December 27 to 31, while the finals to be played between January 7 and 11. (ANI