The opening round of Ranji Trophy matches will begin from February 17 following a five-day quarantine and the squad size, including support staff, has been capped at 30 as the BCCI aims to stage the 38-team event across nine different bio-bubbles amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The BCCI had earlier announced that the Ranji Trophy, to be held after two years due to the pandemic, will take place in two phases, before and after the IPL.

On Tuesday, the board issued "staging guidelines" to the nine host associations.

The five-page document, which is in PTI's

possession, states that each squad can have a maximum of 30 members, including a minimum of 20 players, with the number of support staff capped at 10.

"20 players will be eligible for match fees (Playing XI will be eligible for 100 per cent while the remaining 9 will be entitled to 50 per cent)," the guidelines state, adding that two Covid reserves will be allowed per team.

The opening round clash between defending champions Saurashtra and Mumbai in Ahmedabad will be a much anticipated one with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane having been named in their respective teams.
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