The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has announced a 26-member list for India’s premier domestic T20 competition- Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT). The tournament will commence on 10th January as title defenders Karnataka take on Jammu and Kashmir.
Dinesh Karthik is expected to lead the side again after taking Tamil Nadu to the finals last season. Out of favour India players, opener Murli Vijay and all-rounder Vijay Shankar are also in the squad. Senior off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin misses out along with Washington Sundar and pace sensation, T Natarajan as the trio is in Australia for national duty.
Batsman K.B Arun Karthick will return to play for Tamil Nadu after seven years. Medium-pacer Sandeep Warrier moved from Kerala ahead of the season and joins Tamil Nadu. The side will play three practice matches on December 19, 20, and 21 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The final squad will be picked on December 21. Tamil Nadu has Odisha, Jharkhand, Bengal, Assam, and Hyderabad in Elite group B.
Tamil Nadu probables: Dinesh Karthik, M Vijay, B Aparajith, B Indrajith, Vijay Shankar, M Shahrukh Khan, C Hari Nishaanth, Pradosh Ranjan Paul, KB Arun Karthik, Akshay V Srinivasan, N Jagadeesan, M Abhinav, Aswin Crist, M Mohammed, G Periyasamy, Sandeep Warrier, S Harish Kumar, K Vignesh, R Silambarasan, J Kousik, R Sonu Yadav, M Ashwin, R Sai Kishore, M Siddharth, L Sathiyannaarayanan and M E Yazh Arun Mozhi.
Motera Stadium to host Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy knockouts
The newly built Sardar Patel Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy knockouts including the final. Bangalore, Kolkata, Vadodara, Indore, and Mumbai are the venues for the five Elite groups, while Chennai will host the plate group games. All players and support staff will undergo three rounds of COVID-19 tests on January 2, 4, and 6.
Motera, the largest cricket stadium in the world with a capacity of 110,000 will host the four quarterfinals on January 26 and 27, the semifinals on January 29, and the final of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 is scheduled for January 31.