According to reports, the domestic T20 tournament Syed Mushtaq Ali is going to be conducted before the Ranji Trophy this season with IPL auctions in mind. This move comes in light of the fact that few IPL teams are short on Indian talent, hence, it would help them scout players from the tournament.
With reports emerging that BCCI is planning to have the mega auction before the start of IPL 2021, all the teams will have to be ready with their strategies to fill the holes in their teams, particularly the Indian talent, which is hard to come by. However, in order to do that franchises’ scouts will have to have some context regarding the current form of players as domestic cricket has not yet started in the country.
Now, according to reports from Hindustan Times, BCCI is planning to organise the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, India's domestic T20 competition in early January to kickstart the domestic season, opposed to the usual schedule, where Ranji Trophy is the opening tournament of the season, keeping the IPL-14 auctions in mind.
Reportedly, BCCI has already sent feelers to a few state associations where there are multiple grounds and five-star hotels to create a bio-bubble environment for a minimum of three teams.
“Yes, the IPL auctions this year will be important for at least two to three teams which is weak on Indian talent. For their talent scouts, IPL will be an absolute necessity. So its only logical that Mushtaq Ali happens before Ranji Trophy,” a state unit official said as quoted by Hindustan Times.
The official further informed that 10 state associations will be reached for conducting the T20 tournament and their positive response could help finish the tournament in two-weeks time.
“There are at least 10 state units that will be approached and asked if they can create a bio-secure environment. The BCCI feels that if 6 out of 10 units give a positive response, then Mushtaq Ali can be completed in a two-week window and Ranji Trophy can start,” he said.
Cricket Association of Bengal is one of the first associations that is going ahead with a six-club inaugural T20 league, for which they have already made the arrangements to create a bio-bubble. CAB also has the advantage of having three grounds - Eden Gardens, JU (Salt Lake), and Kalyani, which means that if the T20 tournament is a success then, CAB could host matches for one group of the National T20 tournament.
“The CAB had zeroed in on two hotels -- Novotel and Hyatt for keeping the six teams in a bio-secure environment. However, Hyatt said that it will be difficult for them to provide exclusive hotel staff (room service and housekeeping) for bio-bubble. So CAB has booked 80 rooms for 6 teams and two complete floors to create a bio-bubble,” a senior CAB official said.