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The BCCI is mulling a truncated domestic season in 2020-21, featuring only the first-class Ranji Trophy and the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for men, apart from the IPL. The tentative plan, seen by ESPNcricinfo, is yet to be ratified, but it would mean no 50-overs competitions – neither Vijay Hazare Trophy nor Deodhar Trophy – in a season that will run from November 19 to March 10. There is also no place for the first-class Duleep Trophy or Irani Cup in the proposal.

Senior women’s cricket will feature both the One Day League and the T20 League, albeit with fewer games than the 2019-20 season, and is scheduled between November 1 and April 12. Challenger Trophies across all categories – men and women, senior and junior – find no place in the proposal.

This news follows on from a board official telling ESPNcricinfo last week that a “priority list” of tournaments was being made with the Ranji Trophy on top.

As per the proposed plan, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will be held first, starting ten days after the IPL, from November 19, ending on December 7. The Ranji Trophy is then scheduled to begin from December 13 and will go on till March 10, just before the scheduled 2021 IPL.

Like in the past, the order of tournaments means that players could effectively be using the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament to impress the IPL franchises ahead of an auction, which in this case is scheduled to be held in December 2020 or January 2021.

A zonal system was originally being thought about for the Ranji Trophy, with one city from each zone hosting teams across four or five venues, but that format isn’t to be found in the proposal. There will be five groups. The top 24 teams of last season will be split into groups A, B, and C, with the top two from each qualifying automatically to the quarter-finals. Among the third-placed teams, the team with the highest “quotient” will also go through. The eighth quarter-final spot will be decided after a playoff between the winners of Group D, which will have up to eight teams, and Group E, which consists of the six teams from the north-east.

The bottom teams from groups A, B, and C will be relegated to Group D, with the top three teams from Group D going the other way. The bottom placed team from Group D will go down to Group E, and the winner from Group E will compete in Group D next season. Teams in each group will play on four grounds across two nearby cities and each team will travel “at least once, at most thrice” between venues.

In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the women’s T20 league, 38 teams will be divided into six groups and each group’s matches will be held on two grounds in one city.

A total of 2036 games, across various age groups in the men’s and women’s categories, were played during the 2019-20 season. In normal circumstances, the season would have started in July-August and run till around March. That number will fall to 1183 next season based on this new proposal, which is still contingent on how the pandemic situation plays out in India.

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Welcome to News – FIFA celebrates Pele’s 80th birthday with exclusive content on its digital platforms

Brazilian and world football legend Pele, the only player to have won the FIFA World Cup three times, celebrates his 80th birthday today. To mark the occasion, FIFA is publishing exclusive content on its digital platforms, including a special video programme which is available on and via FIFA’s YouTube channel.

Football lovers everywhere will have the chance to relive memories from Pelé’s former team-mates, his family and friends, and to view birthday greetings from past and present global football stars, from FIFA Legends and from FIFA President Gianni Infantino. And, last but not least, the special birthday content will include an exclusive interview with O Rei himself.

“Pele took football to another level. Not only did he epitomise the beautiful game, but he also played with an effortless flair, the like of which had never been seen in Europe. It was just amazing to watch him on the pitch. He is nicknamed O Rei – ‘The King’ – and rightly so. I would like to wish Pele a very happy 80th birthday from the bottom of my heart, and above all health. Today is really a celebration day for the entire world of football,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

You can follow the special birthday content all across FIFA’s digital platforms:






Hashtags: #Pele80 | #ORei80

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. says there are too many titles in boxing, ahead of Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz fight

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. believes that there needs to be some big changes in boxing. In an interview with Showtime, prior to next weekend’s fight between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz, Mayweather revealed that he believes that the sport has too many title belts.

“This is not good for the sport of boxing,” Mayweather said. “Now when a fighter fights, every fighter is a champion.”

In boxing, there are four major sanctioning bodies in the WBA, WBO, IBF, and WBC. The WBA has “super” versions of their title belt and Davis currently holds that specific belt.

In addition, Mayweather did reveal that his very own promotional company is partially to blame for the issue throughout the sport.

“We gotta clean the sport of boxing up,” Mayweather added. “This don’t look good.”

Mayweather’s comments come after the a lightweight unification fight between Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez won the fight via unanimous decision and was billed as the undisputed champion after winning the WBA (Super), WBO, IBF, and The Ring lightweight titles.

Mayweather also believes that the only reason for multiple belts is so that each sanctioning body can collect more money from sanctioning fees.

“Ain’t no such thing as super champion,” Mayweather said. “You guys are just taking extra money from all these fighters [by] getting extra money from sanctioning fees.”

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Acting president Beresford Williams, five others resign from Cricket South Africa board

At least six members of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) board have acceded to the request of the nembers’ council – the highest decision-making body in South African cricket, made up of the 14 provincial affiliate presidents – and stood down from their positions. The list included acting president Beresford Williams, who took over from Chris Nenzani in August.

The resignations came after the members’ council asked the entire board to step down on Friday. On Sunday, Williams, Donovan May, Tebogo Siko, Angelo Carolissen and John Mogodi all quit from their positions. The five of them had been elected to the board via their provinces and, therefore, were non-independent members of the board. Dheven Dharmalingam is the only independent board member to resign so far. There are currently three other independent members still sitting on CSA’s board.

“As mentioned in Friday’s press statement, the CSA Board met this week & discussed various strategies that would best position CSA. One of these approaches was that if the Board would need to step down for the best interest of CSA & cricket as a whole, the Board would then do so,” CSA said in a statement on Twitter, while confirming the resignations of the five.

More to follow…

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