BCCI announces Corporate Trophy schedule

The BCCI's initiative to revive the inter-corporate trophy in India's domestic circuit formally got underway with the board announcing

the dates, venues and teams for the tournament on Monday.

While a few teams that had been vying for a slot in the tournament happen to miss out, the board has gone ahead and named twelve sides as part of

the event to be held from September 1-8 at Mohali, Vishakapatnam, Dharamsala and Bangalore. The teams have been divided into four groups of

three each for the league phase to be played from September 1-3.

This will be followed by the semifinals on September 5 and six at Mohali and Bangalore, followed by the final, again at Bangalore. The winners stand to

receive a whopping Rs one crore while the runners-up will get to pocket Rs 50 lakh.

Teams like Chemplast and Reliance had evinced interest in the tournament but have missed out for this year. BCCI treasurer M P Pandove told TOI

that "since there was shortage of time this year, a lot of plans couldn't fall in place. As the tournament (to be held annually) goes on, more teams will be

included and encouraged. This is an effort on our (BCCI) part to create employment for players."

Pandove emphasised on the need to get the tournament rolling, which is aimed at bringing more involvement of corporates into the game. "This year,

there are twelve teams. But from next year on, it will increase," he said. The BCCI is also looking forward to rake in television rights for the property.

A couple of corporates, through their spokespersons, did express surprise on having missed out, which indicates a certain amount of popularity growing for

the event. All international players employed with the 12 participating teams will take part and each side will be allowed to include two 'scholarship'

players from the under-19 group as part of the BCCI plan. The tournament is

scheduled to be played before India embark on their trip to Sri Lanka to play a tri-series involving New Zealand.

The groupings:

Group A: Indian Revenue, ITC, Air India (Blue) - Mohali

Group B: BPCL, MRF, ONGC - Vishakhapatnam

Group C: All India Public Sector Sports Promotion Board, Tatas, Indian Oil - Dharamsala

Group D: Air India (Red), India Cements, BPCL - Bangalore.