New Delhi: The BCCI will start its much-delayed domestic season with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The tournament will be played from January 10 to 31 in six different states. In all the venues bio-secure hubs will be created for the Mushtaq Ali tourney. The participating teams have been asked to report to their respective hubs January 2.
It is learnt that BCCI secretary Jay Shah has e-mailed all the state units that Mushtaq Ali will kick-start the domestic itinerary. However, there is no clarity as to when the Ranji Trophy will start. The domestic schedule has been thrown haywire owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 to state units.
“By Saturday, January 2, 2021, teams will have to assemble in their respective hub. From Sunday, January 10, 2021, tournament will start and the final will be played January 31, 2021,” the email said
Shah however, said that a decision on Ranji Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy will be taken once the group stage of the Mushtaq Ali gets over. Feedback from members will be factored in.
“BCCI will subsequently seek feedback from the members on organising any other domestic tournament after the group stage of Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy,” Shah said.
“The members are requested to factor a subsequent tournament in their planning and make arrangements accordingly,” Shah wrote.
It is understood that Mushtaq Ali is being held because the BCCI wants to have a mega players’ auction in early February. The auction will be ahead of the next IPL which may have nine or 10 teams.
As far as one more tournament is concerned, it could well be the Vijay Hazare Trophy instead of the Ranji Trophy. This is because the former can be organised in a shorter span of time like Mushtaq Ali Trophy.