Mumbai: The Indian cricket board on Tuesday clarified that the prestigious Duleep Trophy has been shelved, and that the tournament remains an "integral part of the domestic calendar" and will be the curtain-raiser of the 2016-17 domestic season.
Several reports on Monday suggested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has scrapped the traditional tournament for good from the upcoming 2015-16 domestic season.
"BCCI wishes to clarify that this is incorrect and reiterate that the Duleep Trophy remains an integral part of the domestic calendar," the board said in a release on Tuesday.
"India will play 12 Test matches at home in the next season (2016-17) between October-March. Duleep trophy will be the curtain-raiser for the forthcoming domestic season and provide a platform for the players to stake a claim."
The BCCI on Monday revealed its plans to conduct 900 matches in six months during its 2015-16 domestic season, which will start from October this year and end in March 2016. The 2015-16 domestic fixtures list, released on Monday, did not have a place for the Duleep Trophy.
Thed BCCI decided not to hold the Duleep Trophy in the 2015-16 season in order to accommodate the 2016 World Twenty20 championship, which will be played in India after the completion of the domestic season in March 2016.
"This year's schedule has been planned to ensure that prominence for various domestic competitions is relevant to India's international calendar and in particular with India hosting the ICC World Twenty20," the release said.
"BCCI wishes to reaffirm its keenness to add more relevance to the Duleep Trophy in the coming years and to prepare our cricketers for Test cricket."
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