BCCI brings domestic tournaments forward in order to accommodate the ICC window for IPL 2018
ICC took a big step in their new FTP by creating a window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2018. This means that there will be no international cricket for the period of IPL anywhere in the world so that most international cricketers can be a part of the most lucrative T20 league in the world.
This has also made BCCI make some changes in its itinerary as well, as it was forced to bring forward two domestic tournaments in the Zonal T20 league and the Syed Mushtaq Ali knockout tournament. Doing so will provide the players maximum chances to impress the IPL scouts ahead of the IPL 2018 auction, which is scheduled to take place on January 27 and 28.
The Zonal T20 league will now be held from January 8 to 16 instead of January 21 to 29 and the Syed Mushtaq Ali knockout tournament being pushed from the February 4-10 window to January 21-27.
The domestic 50 overs league named the Vijay Hazare Trophy has also been rescheduled. The group-league phase, which was set to be played from February 16 to 25, has been advanced to February 5 to 14. The knockout stages of the tournament will be played from February 21 to 26 instead of March 3 to 8.
Consequently, the Irani Trophy match between the Ranji Trophy winners and the Rest of India has been postponed to March.
This is not the first time BCCI has advanced the T20 domestic leagues for players to have a chance at IPL auctions, as it happened before in 2015. Before this, the relevancy of the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament was questioned as it happened after the IPL auctions, with no incentive to the players to perform at their optimum level.
However, now, the tournament will have more eyes on it as the IPL scouts and franchises will be looking for talent in this tournament.