The Ranji Trophy is one of the most important first-class cricket championships of India. In this championship, different regional cricket associations select a team to represent them
The Ranji Trophy is named after one of India's first test cricketers, Ranjitsinhji. Largely regional in nature, the Ranji Trophy can be summed up as a domestic first class cricket series played by various regional teams against one another. The series was announced in 1934, and the initial fixtures took place in 1934-35. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala donated the trophy.
The Ranji Trophy has gained vast popularity over the years, and in modern times has achieved a similar status like country cricket, which is prevalent in England. In fact, the Ranji Trophy over the years has become a breeding ground for some of the best Indian cricketers, who get selected into the Indian national team based on their performance in the Ranji matches. 27 teams currently take part in the Ranji Trophy, with 21 of the 29 Indian states having a minimum of one representative team. The format of the matches played has been changed several times over the years, and currently follows a two-tier format. One of the most distinctive features of the series is that apart from regional cricket boards of various states, government teams also take part in the tournament, like the Railways team, and several other teams associated with government enterprises.
In order to play in the Ranji Trophy, state teams and first-class cricket clubs and associations must qualify. Most of the teams that play in the championship are regional or statal, such as Delhi, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, etc. Almost all states have a team to play for them in the Ranji Trophy