Bengaluru, July 21: India's top teams will begin their Ranji Trophy preparations tomorrow (July 22) when they play in the KSCA Dr. (Captain) K Thimmappaih Memorial Cricket Tournament 2015.
The tournament, organised annually by Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) acts as the season opener for the four-day league matches.
16 teams, including 3 from the host association will be seen in action from July 22 to August 17 in Bengaluru and Mysooru. The final from August 14 will be played at Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Defending champions National Cricket Academy (NCA) are in Pool C with KSCA Colts, Dr. DY Patil Academy and Andhra Cricket Association.
The teams are divided into 4 groups and the winner of each pool after the round-robin format, progressing to the semi-finals. Each match will be of four-day duration, played on Ranji Trophy rules (as were last season).
Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Kerala, Gujarat and Vidarbha sides will be seen in action.
Karnataka, who are the holders of Ranji Trophy, will miss the services of big names - captain R Vinay Kumar, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and others as they don't feature in any of the 3 teams. However, they might play a part in the later part of the tournament. KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Abhimanyu Mithun and Shreyas Gopal are with Rahul Dravid coached India 'A' team to face Australia 'A' in Chennai from tomorrow.
This season's Ranji Trophy begins on October 1.
Pool A: KSCA XI, Himachal Pradesh CA, Odisha CA, Assam Cricket Association
Pool B: KSCA President's XI, Cricket Association of Bengal, Haryana Cricket Association, Tripura Cricket Association
Pool C: KSCA Colts, National Cricket Academy, Dr. DY Patil Academy, Andhra Cricket Association
Pool D (Matches to be played in Mysooru): Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, Kerala Cricket Association, Gujarat Cricket Association, Vidarbha Cricket Association
League phase: July 22 to August 5
Semi-finals: August 8 to 11
Final: August 14 to 17