India’s first test match was played in the country in 1932 against England. Since then, India has risen to become one of the world’s biggest cricketing nations. The game has taken root across the country and a variety of leagues and tournaments have been established to cater to its varied needs.
Chances are you’ve come across a reference to an Indian league or tournament at some point during your lifetime. Maybe you saw it on TV or read about it in a newspaper it doesn’t matter where you saw it,
what matters is that there are nearly 20 separate cricketing leagues in India with more being created every year.
However, not many people know that there is a formalized competition for them all the 100th League: India’s Biggest Cricket Challenge.
What is the 100th League?
The 100th League is a competition for the top eight cricket leagues in India. It’s a one-day affair that’s sponsored by Amway and ESPN and has been organized by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). The league was first introduced in 2016 and was originally scheduled to last for just four months.
By the time the 100th League concluded in May, however, it was extended to a full year. The league features 16 teams each from one of the major leagues in India: the Vijay Shield, the Ranji Trophy,
the Hockey India League, and the Indian Cricket League. The top two teams in this competition are then promoted to the Indian Premier League.
How was it started?
The concept behind the 100th League may be relatively new, but the competition has its roots in the past. The Big League, as it is known, was inspired by the Big Bash League in Australia, which start in 2011. However, the two competitions have very different purposes. The Big Bash League is a domestic first-class competition play
between state-level teams, while the 100th League encompasses club level competitions from eight separate Indian leagues.
CAB looked to Australia as inspiration for the 100th League,
but it’s unlikely the competition would have find without the Indian Premier League
the country’s premier domestic tournament as a model. It was IPL’s popularity that helped inspire the CAB to begin the 100th League and formalize a competition.
The leagues and their standing in the 100th League
In a bid to accommodate teams from across India’s, the eight competing leagues have divide into two groups. The Vijay Shield is the strongest of the eight groups with three of the country’s most prominent leagues: the Ranji Trophy, Hockey India League, and the Indian Cricket League. The Vijay Shield is further divide into two sub-groups for the 100th League.
The Ranji Trophy, the oldest domestic competition in the country, is in Group A with the National Cricket League (NCB), the Goa Professional League (GPL), and the Telugu Premier League (TPL). Group B has the rest of the eight leagues and these groups are further divide into two sub-groups.
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The Premier League is the strongest sub-group in Group A with the Karnataka Premier League,
the Vidarbha Cricket Association Cricket League, and the Southern Legaue Cricket Association (SLCA) as members.
In Group B, the four leagues are the Delhi Premier League, the Haryana Premier League, the Inter Zonal Premier League, and the Western Suburban Cricket Association (WSCA)
Game format of the 100th League
The IPL, which once had a nine-team tournament, was expand to 10 teams in 2016. The format, then, changed for the 100th League, with the top eight teams from the Vijay Shield playing the single elimination tournament. The first round is play in a single leg with the top-two teams from each group advancing to the next round.
The second round is play in a double round-robin format and the four teams from each group advance to the final knockout stage. The knockout stage is also single elimination but with the addition of a fifth round to break ties. The top-ranked team in the Vijay Shield and the winner of the second-ranked team in the Vijay Shield advance to the final.
Why is it call the “100th League”?
The 100th League is a mouthful but the concept behind it is simple enough. If you were to create an imaginary tournament where the top eight leagues in the country were pitt against each other, you’d probably start with the 100th one.
The competition has give the official title of “100th League” in order to distinguish it from the other leagues in India’s, but it’s also referr to colloquial as the “Big League.” It’s this unofficial name that’s use for a long time and it’s what all the sponsors, broadcasters, and tournament organizers still call it.
Popularity of league cricket in India
As mention, the 100th League is inspire by the Big Bash League in Australia. The tournament saw a huge rise in popularity after it was introduce in 2011 and is now play in eight Australian states and two overseas territories. While there’s no telling how long it will last in India’s, the 100th League has managed to capture the attention of cricket fans for a year.
Major tournaments in India’s league cricket history
This competition is still in its infancy but it has already hosted a couple of significant events. The 2016 edition of the 100th League had the distinction of being the centennial tournament of the Ranji Trophy. This major league cricket competition was play in the Ranji Trophy Group A and feature the Vijay Shield and the Ranji Trophy teams.
Future plans for Indian league cricket
There’s still a long way to go before Indian cricket can compete with the best in the world. However, the 100th League has provided a taste of what’s to come. The Vijay Shield and the Ranji Trophy have already admit to the IPL and the Indian Premier League, respectively. There’s also the possibility of future leagues include in the 100th League.
India’s league cricket has become a truly competitive affair with the addition of the 100th League. The competition has hold among the top eight leagues in the country and will continue for another year. The Vijay Shield and Ranji Trophy teams have invite to participate.