(Last Updated on : 29/08/2011)
The Duleep Trophy is one of the top class domestic cricket tournaments in India that started its journey in the years of 1961-62 as a zonal rather than a state first-class competition. It is a famous Cricket competition in domestic Cricket. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named the tournament after the legendary cricketer, KS Duleepsinhji. According to the original format of the tournament, there were a number of five teams, drawn from the five zones - North Zone, South Zone, East Zone, West Zone and Central Zone. The teams played each other on a knockout basis and the BCCI decided to convert the tournament to a league format, from 1993-94.
The BCCI once again changed the format of the Duleep Trophy in the year of 2002-03 and replaced the zonal teams with five new sides named, Elite A, Elite B, Elite C, Plate A and Plate B. The BCCI constructed the teams from the new Elite Group and Plate Group divisions that had been introduced into the Ranji Trophy
in that season. However, this format lasted for only one season, as BCCI felt that the new teams lacked a sense of identity and as a result, it went into the old zonal format from 2003-04. The BCCI also started to invite one overseas guest side every year in the tournament, England A being the first one to come.
The West Zone has the credit of becoming the first Champion in the Duleep Trophy, in the 1961-62 seasons. The team beat the South Zone by 10 wickets in the final to win the trophy. Each of the zonal teams is actually a composite team of some cricketers, who play for the Ranji Trophy state/city teams situated in that region of India. The North Zone has been the most successful team in the Duleep Trophy so far, as it won the tournament for a record 17 times, including one shared trophy. The guest teams that have been invited for playing in the Duleep Trophy so far include the teams like England A, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe Cricket Union President`s XI, Sri Lanka A and England Lions.