Cricket is a religion in India. People flock to stadiums to watch the sport. They idolise cricketing superstars. The game achieved popularity once India won the World Cup in 1983. That victory changed India’s cricketing fortunes overnight. The game that was earlier England’s pet peeve was slowly transcending boundaries. India bagged the World Cup hosting rights for the 1987 World Cup. It marked the evolution of a new beginning, lets look at the Biggest Cricket Tournament In India In the last 4 decades, India has emerged as a cricketing superpower. India dictates the terms globally. The inception of the Indian Premier League has extended India’s global domination.
First-class domestic tournaments in India:
The first and the oldest cricketing tournament held in India is the Ranji Trophy. It was called the ‘Cricket Championship of India’ back then (1934). The tournament is composed of teams that originate from different states and divisions. It is the backbone of India’s Test cricketing culture. 38 teams participate in this season-long competition. It has representations across 28 states and 4 union territories.
The magnitude of the tournament can be gauged from the fact that 38 teams fight for the ultimate prize. It is one of the biggest cricketing tournaments in the world. The Ranji Trophy is named after the first Indian cricketer who played the sport, Ranjitsinhji.
Duleep Trophy is one of the most popular domestic tournaments in the country. The tournament was designed to reduce the monopoly of a strong Bombay (now Mumbai) team. It was also meant to help the national selectors look at the country’s top players pitted against each other. The tournament is now played between 3 BCCI selected teams (India: Blue, Red, Green).
The Irani Trophy came into existence to celebrate 25 years of the Ranji Trophy in 1959. It is a competition between the Ranji Trophy champions and the Rest of the India team. The best players from the non-champion team are selected as part of the Rest of the India squad. It is a game that evokes high interest among the cricket-loving audience of the country.
It is a domestic one-day format competition. It features the elite batch of domestic and international Indian cricketers competing. 3 Teams (India: A, B, and C) battle it out in a round-robin format and the top 2 teams contest the final.
Vijay Hazare Trophy:
This tournament has gathered a lot of steam in the recent few years. It helps domestic Indian cricketers who are waiting to go to the next level. This tournament provides a lot of visibility to the selectors. BCCI likes to call this tournament as ‘Premium Cup’.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy:
This tournament is arguably the 2nd most followed domestic tournament in the country. SMAT as it is popularly called acts as a precursor to the IPL. It helps budding cricketers showcase their skills before the annual IPL auctions every year. Franchises and talent scouts closely follow the SMAT to spot talent.
The mother of all cricket tournaments:
BCCI, the parent body of Indian cricket in 2007 came up with a master plan. It intended to host an annual domestic competition featuring cricketing stars. This tournament was designed on the lines of the English Premier League (EPL). It was called the Indian Premier League, it emerges as a Biggest Cricket Tournament In India.
The IPL has its separate window as part of ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP). It is generally played between the March-May window every year. The current season of IPL saw 8 teams participating in it. But the next edition of the IPL will see the addition of two new teams, addition of 10 teams will make this Competition most Biggest Cricket Tournament In India.
The purchase cost of the new teams is estimated to be around INR 3000 crores. This humungous amount indicates the brand value of The IPL as the costliest team was bought for INR 470 crores back when the league was launched. IPL’s brand valuation makes it not just India’s but the world’s richest tournament. It is an INR 45,000 crore property and is definitely the biggest tournament in the world!