Indian Domestic Cricket 2023: Recap of the Year's Events

From Railway women maintaining their supremacy in the Senior One Day Trophy to Haryana winning their first Vijay Hazare Trophy, 2023 stood out as a memorable year in the realm of domestic cricket.

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Saurashtra Team in Ranji Trophy
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Saurashtra Team in Ranji Trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Indian cricket reached an unprecedented level in 2023, propelled by the relentless talent discovery at the domestic level. From Railway women maintaining their supremacy in the Senior One Day Trophy to Haryana winning their first Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 stands out as a memorable and significant year in the realm of domestic cricket. Here are a few of the standout performances that underscored the depth and vibrancy of India's cricketing landscape.

On February 7, 2023, Railways added another feather to their cap, securing the Women's Senior One Day Trophy for a record 14th time, defeating Karnataka by four wickets at the JSCA complex in Ranchi. Within that month, Saurashtra, under Jaydev Unadkat, clinched their second Ranji Trophy title in the last three seasons.

In a significant development in April, the BCCI announced an increase in prize money for domestic tournaments. The Ranji Trophy winner were to receive a substantial INR 5 crore cash reward while the prize money for the Irani Cup was doubled to INR 50 lakh from INR 25 lakh. The Senior Women’s One Day Trophy also witnessed a substantial increase, with the winner securing INR 50 lakh, and the runner-up receiving INR 25 lakh.

Meanwhile, on July 16, South Zone emerged victorious in the Duleep Trophy final in Bengaluru, defeating West Zone by 75 runs, marking their first title in a decade, with their last title win coming in the 2013–14 season. 

In August, Mayank Agarwal-led South Zone clinched their ninth Deodhar Trophy title by overcoming East Zone in the final. The victory, sealed with a 45-run margin, saw Rohan Kunnummal earning the Player of the Match distinction for his outstanding century.

In October, the Rest of India, led by Hanuma Vihari, triumphed over Saurashtra by 175 runs in the Irani Cup in Rajkot. During the same month, Ashutosh Sharma of Railways made headlines by hitting the quickest T20 fifty by an Indian batter in a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match against Arunachal Pradesh, breaking Yuvraj Singh's long-standing record of a 12-ball half-century.

On October 17, Punjab made history by setting the record for the highest score by an Indian T20 team during their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023 match against Andhra Pradesh, amassing 275/6. They surpassed the previous record of 263 set by the Indian Premier League side Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013. October 31 witnessed Assam captain Riyan Parag creating a world record by scoring seven successive fifties in T20s during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

In November, Assam reached the semifinals of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for the first time, outplaying Kerala by six wickets in the quarterfinals in Mohali. Meanwhile, Punjab, under the leadership of Mandeep Singh secured its maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy by defeating Baroda by 20 runs in the final in Mohali. 

On the women's front, Mumbai emerged victorious in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy by beating Uttarakhand in the final in Raipur, with Jemimah Rodrigues leading the team to its first-ever domestic T20 title. Ending the year on a high note, Haryana claimed its maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy in December by defeating Rajasthan by 30 runs in the final at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.

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