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Tough group for Bengal

New Delhi: Bengal find themselves in a tough group at this season’s Ranji Trophy as they are placed with defending champions Karnataka and 40-time champions Mumbai.

The BCCI tournament committee has decided to kick-start the domestic season with the Duleep Trophy starting October 15, while the Ranji Trophy begins from December 7 and continues till March 12.

Apart from Karnataka and Mumbai, the other teams Bengal will have to take on in Group A are Railways, Uttar Pradesh, Baroda, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Madhya Pradesh.

The Ranji group league fixtures will be held between December 7 to February 8, followed by the quarter finals between February 15 to 19. The two semi-finals will be held between February 25 to March 1, while final is from March 8 to 12.

After Ranji comes the Irani Cup — from March 17 to 21 — while the zonal leg of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (national Twenty20 championship) will be held between March 25 to 28. The final leg of the tournament is from April 1 to 7.

The Duleep Trophy, meanwhile, will be a three-week affair from October 15 to November 3.

With the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand slated in February-March next year, the BCCI will conduct the national one-day championship — Vijay Hazare Trophy — from November 7 to 25. The zonal phase of the Vijay Hazare Trophy will be held from November 7 to 14, while the knockout phase of the competition will be held from November 19 to 25.

The Deodhar Trophy inter-zonal one dayers will be held between November 29 to December 3. The final leg will be played from April 1-7.