Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which is scheduled to take place from January 10 to 31, is set to commence domestic season in India as confirmed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah in an e-mail to all state units. The T20 Championship will be staged in six cities under bio-secure environments. The associations of Tamil Nadu and Bengal are the only confirmed hosts for now.
“After having gone through your responses and in accordance with the feedback received, I am pleased to inform you that BCCI is planning to start the domestic season 2020-21 with the scheduling of the T20 tournament for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,” Shah wrote in the communication letter with the state units, as accessed by a newspaper.
In a communication to the state bodies the BCCI secretary has said that teams will assemble in their respective bio-hubs on January 2 and start preparing for the season. However, Shah’s letter does not specify the details of the venues. Sources in BCCI indicated that Vadodara, Chandigarh/Mohali will most likely be the other venues as well as Andhra and Karnataka.
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“The BCCI will subsequently seek further feedback from members on organising any other domestic tournament/tournaments and a decision will be taken after the group stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The members are requested to factor a subsequent tournament in their planning and make arrangements accordingly,” Shah said further.
Earlier, the governing body has presented State associations with four options for a shortened domestic season to all the respective State cricket associations. The four options are as follows: Only Ranji Trophy (option 1), only Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (option 2), both Ranji Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (option 3), both Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy (option 4).
As per the provisional plan, Mushtaq Ali T20s would be a 22-day event, Vijay Hazare would take 28 days and the Ranji Trophy would be a 67-day affair. The Mushtaq Ali Trophy has been preferred because the BCCI plans to hold a mega auction for the Indian Premier League in February, with two teams being added to the list.
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