The season begins with the Irani Cup tie between last year's Ranji Trophy winners Railways and the Rest of India at Delhi from October 1-5.
This tournament would be followed by the October 10-13 Challenger Series day/night One-day tournament to be held at Mohali, Dasgupta said, adding this was done to give the Indian players practice for the subsequent home One-day International series against Sri Lanka.
The Lankans would be visiting India to play One-day Internationals and Tests in October-November, according to Dasgupta. The season would also see the South African team visit the country to play five One-day Internationals, he added.
No change in Duleep Trophy format:
NCA won't be included:
However, the BCCI has dropped the idea to field a team comprising National Cricket Academy (NCA) trainees in the coming season's Duleep Trophy tournament.
As has been the practice over the last two seasons a foreign team, most probably the 'A' team of one of the top Test nations, would participate in the tournament to be held in international cricket centres from mid-October to November.
"It was felt it would not be proper to field an NCA team in this important inter-zonal tournament in which all the top cricketers of the country would be taking part as they would be lacking experience to play at this level," Dasgupta said.
Colured clothing in Deodhar Trophy:
Coloured clothing and white balls would be used in the Deodhar Trophy inter-zonal Limited Overs tournament to be played in February-March, 2006, Dasgupta said, adding the tournament may not necessarily be held under lights.
Group 1: Central Zone, South Zone and West Zone.
Group 2: North Zone, East Zone and visiting foreign team.
This year's Ranji Trophy, commencing soon after the end of the Duleep trophy around November 20, would see the league and knock-out phase being held in a continuous manner unlike last year when there was a three-month gap between the two stages.
The tournament is scheduled to finish in mid-February, Dasgupta said.
As per the draw of lots held today the Ranji Trophy Elite and Plate division groups are as follows:
Group A: Railways, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bengal, Delhi and Tamil Nadu.
Group B: Punjab, Hyderabad, Haryana, Andhra, Services, Uttar Pradesh and Baroda.
Group A: Himachal Pradesh, Saurashtra, Tripura, Vidarbha, Goa and Orissa.
Group B: Rajasthan, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.