What is the Irani Cup in cricket?

The Irani Cup is an annual domestic tournament of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that is contested as a single test match event between the winner of the Ranji Trophy and a Rest of India side which has representatives from different states of India.

The Irani Cup is named after Zal Irani, former president and treasurer of the BCCI. Irani was one of the most esteemed patrons of the BCCI, who was associated with the organization since it’s inception in 1928, till he passed away in 1970.

The first edition of the event took place in 1959, and since then has been held annually each year. As of 2023, Rest of India has been the most successful side, winning 30 titles.

The selection of the Rest of India side is made by the All India Senior Selection Committee. An 18-man squad of Rest of India is announced by the BCCI. These 18 players are chosen based on their performance in the Ranji Trophy of that season. Players who performed exceptionally well throughout the tournament but were not a part of the winning Ranji side are usually named in the 18-man squad.

Performances of players in the Irani Cup are monitored with a keen eye by the selectors who hunt for new talents in the national side. The venue for the Irani Cup is decided by the BCCI based on infrastructure, logistics, willingness of the state cricket associations and the overall development of cricket in that particular region of the country.

The 59th edition of the Irani Cup was held in 2023. The leading run-scorer of the event till the 59th edition is Wasim Jaffer (1294 runs) and the leading wicket-taker is Padmakar Shivalkar (51 wickets).

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