BCCI to host Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 ahead of IPL 2021 auction, says report 

The board is on the look out for state units with at least three grounds in close proximity.

The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 could kick-off a pandemic-curtailed domestic season | TwitterThe BCCI could organise the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20, one of the country's three premier domestic competitions, in early January before the auction for next year's edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), due to be held in the traditional April-May window. 

In order to kickstart the domestic season with the state-based T20 competition, the report states, "the 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."

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One of the state unit officials told PTI, "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."

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the board is looking for those state units where there are at least three grounds within close proximity with five-star hotel facilities, which would then help with the creation of bio-bubbles for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20. 

"There are at least 10 state units that will be approached and asked if they can create 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," the official said. 

Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) with the Wankhede, Brabourne and DY Patil stadiums and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) with Eden Gardens, JU (Salt Lake) and Kalyani will be firm favourites to play hosts for one of the groups' matches. 

CAB is also set to conduct its six-club inaugural T20 league, which will be an indicator for the state association to test whether it is ready to host a domestic tournament within bio-secure regulations. 

“The CAB had zeroed in on two hotels -- Novotel and Hyatt for keeping the six teams in 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," a CAB official privy to the developments told PTI

"So CAB has booked 80 rooms for 6 teams and two complete floors to create a bio-bubble."


By Kashish Chadha - 16 Nov, 2020

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