Cricket was introduced to India by the British and is now the de facto national sport of India. Though cricket is indubitably the most popular sport in India, it is not the nation's official national sport (a distinction held by field hockey).
cricket in India generally does not follow a fixed pattern. For
example, the English schedule under which the nation tours other
countries during winter and plays at home during the summer.
Generally, there has recently been a tendency to play more one-day
matches than Test matches. Cricket in India is managed by the Board
of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest cricket board in
the cricket world. Indian International Cricketing Squad has also
provided some of the greatest players to the world. Indian cricket
has a rich history.
BCCI Corporate Trophy - BCCI have set up a 12 team inter-corporate tournament which will involve all the top Indian cricketers. The tournament will involve 50 over aside matches with the winner picking up Rs 1 Crore and the runner up getting Rs 50 lakh.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - To be played for the first time in the 2008-09 season, this will be the first of its kind zonal T20 championship and the third overall in the Indian cricket season, which would see Ranji teams divided along zonal lines into two groups with the tournament culminating in the All India T20 final between the winners of the two groups for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Launched after the success of the IPL and the need of the BCCI to search for more talent in the growing regions of cricket.
Irani Trophy - The Irani Trophy tournament was conceived during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship and was named after the late Z.R. Irani, who was associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928, till his death in 1970 and a keen patron of the game. The first match, played between the Ranji Trophy champions and the Rest of India was played in 1959-60. For the first few years, it was played at the fag end of the season. Realising the importance of the fixture, the BCCI moved it to the beginning of the season. Since 1965-66, it has traditionally heralded the start of the new domestic season. The Irani Trophy game ranks very high in popularity and importance. It is one of the few domestic matches that is followed with keen interest by cricket lovers in the country. Leading players take part in the game which has often been a sort of selection trial to pick the Indian team for foreign tours.
NKP Salve Challenger Trophy - Started as the Challenger series by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1994-95 and later named as NKP Salve Challenger Trophy in 1998-99, the tournament features 3 teams: India senior, India A and India B playing each other. They were later renamed India Blue, India Red and India Green respectively. This competition also marked as the platform of return for some big names like Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly in 2005-06 season after they battled injury and form respectively. The tournament features the top 36 players from across India and is also the most popular domestic structure after IPL.
Ranji Trophy - Founded as 'The Cricket Championship of India' at a meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in July 1934. The first Ranji Trophy fixtures took place in the 1934-35 season. Syed Mohammed Hadi of Hyderabad was the first batsman to score a century in the tournament. The Trophy was donated by H.H. Sir Bhupendra Singh Mahinder Baha-dur, Maharajah of Patiala in memory of His late Highness Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar. In the main, the Ranji Trophy is composed of teams representing the states that make up India. As the political states have multiplied, so have cricket teams, but not every state has a team. Some states have more than one cricket team, e.g. Maharashtra and Gujarat. There are also 'odd' teams like Railways, and Services representing the armed forces. The various teams used to be grouped into zones - North, West, East, Central and South - and the initial matches were played on a league basis within the zones. The top two (until 1991-92) and then top three teams (subsequent years) from each zone then played in a national knock-out competition. Starting with the 2002-03 season, the zonal system has been abandoned and a two-division structure has been adopted with two teams being promoted from the plate league and two relegated from the elite league. If the knockout matches are not finished they are decided on the first-innings lead.
Duleep Trophy - The
Duleep Trophy competition, a first-class competition, was started by
the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1961-62 with the aim of
providing a greater competitive edge in domestic cricket - because,
apart from the knock-out stages of the Ranji Trophy, that
competition proved predictable, with Bombay winning for fifteen
consecutive years. The Duleep was also meant to help the selectors
in assessing form. The original format was that five teams, drawn
from the five zones, play each other on a knock-out basis. From the
1993-94 season, the competition has been converted to a league
Championship - After India became another member of the ICC Twenty20
and played its first international T20 against South Africa, BCCI
launched its own state structure in 2006-07 season, with 27 Ranji
teams divided in 5 Zones. The final was played between Punjab and
Tamil Nadu, which the latter won by 2 wickets and 2 balls remaining,
thereby becoming the only ever winner of this series. In this
series, Rohit Sharma also became the only ever Indian to register a
T20 century for Mumbai against Gujarat. The competition was later
replaced by a franchise-based IPL.