Heavyweights Mumbai, Karnataka and Delhi have been clubbed in virtual “group of Death” in the Ranji Trophy, which will start from January 5 next year.
Along with the multiple time Ranji champions are Hyderabad, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand in the Elite group C.
Defending champions Saurashtra are clubbed with Tamil Nadu, Railways, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Goa in Elite group D.
Last year’s runners-up Bengal has a relatively easy group (Elite B) with Vidarbha, Haryana, Kerala, Tripura and Rajasthan.
Another interesting group will be Elite group A that has Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Services and Assam.
The Elite E group has Andhra, Uttar Pradesh, Baroda, Odisha, Chattisgarh and Pondicherry.
The Plate group will comprise Chandigarh, Meghalya, Bihar, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh.
The six cities where matches will be played are Mumbai (Elite A), Bengaluru (Elite B), Bengaluru (Elite C), Ahmedabad (Elite D), Trivandrum (Elite E) and Chennai (Plate).