India’s domestic Twenty20 tournaments, the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and the T20 Zonal league, have been advanced by a fortnight at the request of the Indian Premier League teams, according to a report in The Indian Express.
The rescheduled matches will give the team scouts a chance to look at the performance of local players ahead of the IPL auction, which is to be held on January 27 and 28 in Bengaluru.
“The said changes are being done so that the T20 Zonal league and Syed Mushtaq Ali Knock out (except the final match) is held before the player auction, which will enable the domestic players to showcase their talent and will also be beneficial for the franchises during the player auction to build their teams,” said a letter sent by BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary to all state units, as per the The Indian Express report.
The revised domestic schedule will see T20 Zonal League being held from January 8 to 16 instead of January 21 to 29, while the Syed Mushtaq Ali Knock Out will be held from January 21 to 27, instead of February 4 to 10.
In turn, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the domestic 50-over tournament, is advanced from February 16-25 to February 5-14, while the knockouts will be held from February 21-16 instead of 3-8 March. The domestic season will end with the Irani Cup, the five-day game which has been postponed from January to March.
This change in schedule will benefit both domestic players and IPL teams, as the league goes for a complete overhaul of teams in the upcoming auctions.
However, this change in plan is said to have affected the inaugural Mumbai T20, Mumbai Cricket Association’s much-awaited T20 tournament. The franchise-based T20 league was to be held from January 4 to 9 with six teams competing in a round robin-cum-knockout format.
However, as these dates will clash with that of the Zonal league, the Mumbai T20 league will be pushed back. According to a report in the mid-day, this change came at a convenient time for MCA as they were facing paperwork issues around the league.
The league had to be postponed indefinitely because of the the short span of time to complete the documentation formalities before the league could kick off on January 4, said the report. The MCA is now looking for a March window for the same.