What is the Hanif Mohammad Trophy in cricket?

Every cricketing nation, especially one that is a full-time International Cricket Council member has a structured regional circuit. This circuit provides a pathway for young cricketers to usher through the tiers to make their way to the national side. The Hanif Mohammad Trophy is one such stepping stone for Pakistani cricketers.

The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy is the premier first class cricket competition of Pakistan. The Hanif Mohammad Trophy was introduced as a sub-first class competition. The team that wins the Hanif Mohammad Trophy is promoted to the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, whereas the team that is positioned last in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy is demoted to the Hanif Mohammad Trophy.

The Hanif Mohammad Trophy is also a Grade II cricket tournament. A match in the tournament is played in the test cricket format and features ten regional teams. These teams are Abbottabad, Azad J&K, Bahawalpur, Dera Murad Jamali, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Karchi Blues, Larkana, Quetta, and Sialkot. The inaugural edition was held in 2023-24 and was won by Islamabad.

The ten teams are divided into two groups of five teams each. Each team plays the other in a round-robin format. The top two teams from each group qualifies for the Super Four stage. In the Super Four stage, each team plays the other once. The team who tops the table wins the title.

A team gets 16 points for a match win, 5 points for a drawn match or an abandoned match, and 8 points for a tie. There are numerous bonus points on offer depending on the team’s performance in the match. If a team wins the match after a follow-on, they get two bonus points. Winning the match by an innings is worth one bonus point, and saving a match after being followed-on is also worth one point.

A team’s score after the first 100 overs also decides if they are subject to bonus points. Scoring 200, 250, 300, 350, and 400 runs are worth 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 bonus points respectively. Similarly, there are bowling bonus points on offer after the first 100 overs. If the bowling side manages to take 3, 6, or 8 wickets in the first 100 overs, they get 1,2, or 3 wickets respectively. Irrespective of the number of overs, if the batting side is bowled out under the score of 200, 250, or 300, the bowling side gets 1,2, or 3 points respectively.

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