New Delhi: Shaun George from South Africa will be one of the umpires officiating in the 51st edition of the Duleep Trophy, which gets underway with a quarter-final clash between East Zone and West Zone at Valsad on Friday.
George will be travelling to India as part of the Umpires Exchange Programme between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) and will officiate in the semi-final in Delhi and the final in Indore, BCCI joint secretary Sanjay Jagdale said.
The winner of the quarter-final match will play North Zone in Delhi from February 4 to 7. Central Zone and defending champions South Zone will play the other semi-final in Chennai on the same days.
The final of Duleep Trophy, India's premier inter-zonal cricket tournament, will be played in Indore from February 12 to 16.
North Zone have won the tournament the maximum number of times - 16. They also shared the trophy once, with West Zone in 1988-89.
West Zone comes second with 15 triumphs. In addition to sharing the trophy with North Zone in 1988-89, West Zone also shared the title with South Zone and Central Zone in 1963-64 and 1997-98 respectively.
South Zone have won the title 11 times, and Central Zone have won it on four occasions. East Zone are yet to open their account.
The tournament underwent a change in 2002-03, when the zonal sides were replaced with five teams, picked on the basis of performances in the Elite and Plate Divisions of the Ranji Trophy.
The teams were named Elite A, Elite B, Elite C, Plate A and Plate B respectively. Elite C won the title. The tournament reverted to the inter-zonal format in the subsequent season.
The tournament involved a team from overseas, from 2003-04 to 2007-08. England A participated in 2003-04, Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in 2004-05, Zimbabwe President's XI in 2005-06, Sri Lanka A in 2006-07, and England Lions in 2007-08.