With an eye on the auction for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, the BCCI could organise the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in early January to kickstart the Covid-19-curtailed domestic season. The domestic season has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to reports, the BCCI has already informed few state associations about the plans. The feelers have been sent to those 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 told PTI.
The news outlet further quoted the official as saying that the BCCI is looking at those state units where there are at least three grounds within manageable distance with five-star facilities.
“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 six 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.
CAB in fray as one of the venues:
The report further stated that Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is one of the potential hosts for the National T20 Championships with three grounds available – Eden Gardens, JU (Salt Lake) and Kalyani. The authorities believe that CAB’s six-club inaugural T20 league will be an indicator for the state unit to check out if they are capable of creating a bio-bubble.
“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.
“So CAB has booked 80 rooms for six teams and two complete floors to create a bio-bubble,” a senior CAB official told PTI.
If the CAB manage to conduct the tournament successfully, it can at least host one group of matches of Mushtaq Ali in Kolkata and Kalyani. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is likely to start high-profile cricket in India after almost a year. The country has not witnessed any competitive domestic or international game since March when the action was halted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The BCCI is also keen to host England in India as well as conduct IPL 2021 in the country.
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