Top domestic sides like Karnataka, Saurashtra and Punjab are among the six states which have officially requested the BCCI to conduct the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 from January, instead of proposed December 20 as they would be short of preparations for the big-ticket event.

“Karnataka, Saurashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Odisha and Meghalaya have all written to BCCI that they would like the Mushtaq Ali to be held in January,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The BCCI had recently asked the state units to share their preferences from the four options that were given to them, which included either holding only Ranji Trophy or the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The other two options were either a combination of Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy or having Mushtaq Ali with Ranji Trophy.

As per the BCCI letter to the member units, the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament will need 22 days (December 20 to January 10) while Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare will require 67 and 28 days respectively.

It is now clear that with a big IPL auction expected in January, Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which unearths talented uncapped players, will be the priority for the Board.

It is understood that in the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country where the number of infected people has crossed 9.5 million, it wasn’t possible for most of the states to hold their camps or have the committees in place.

“A lot of states are starting off with their pre-season training and some haven’t even appointed their coaches and selection committees are not in place. It’s only fair that Mushtaq Ali is held in January so that teams can use this whole month to prepare and get ready,” a secretary of one of the state units said.

It is understood that most of the states want Mushtaq Ali while many of them do want Ranji Trophy also even if it is a curtailed version unlike earlier years due to the time constraint.

Karnataka is the only state that wants all the tournaments (Ranji Trophy, Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy) this season.