India’s domestic season to start with Mushtaq Ali T20 on January 10December 15, 2020
Indian cricket’s domestic season during the pandemic will finally begin with the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament from January 10 with the final to be played on January 31. The Indian Express understands that the ongoing farmers’ agitation and the cold weather at this time of the year are two of the reasons for not holding the tournament in North India.
“There are always fog issues in January and travelling could be hampered. Many games were affected due to bad light in the past. Since we have less time, we don’t want to take risks, especially during these pandemic times. We also don’t know what will be the situation with regards to the farmers’ agitation. If things continue like this, players’ mobility could be an issue,” a BCCI official said.
The Indian cricket board has informed the member associations that all teams should report to their respective hubs by January 2. The BCCI will have six bio-secure hubs, with the 38 teams divided into groups, and the BCCI will announce the venues in the coming days. It is understood that the board won’t have any Elite or Plate groups for the T20 tourney; instead the teams will be divided into groups.
The BCCI will ask the state units to get the Covid-19 tests done before the teams reach the hubs. The teams are likely to go into a seven-day quarantine and the BCCI is in talks with its medical team and a few experts to help them set up a secure bio-bubble.
In the mail to state units, BCCI secretary Jay Shah wrote, “I had sought your responses on the possibilities of organising domestic cricket this season. The members of BCCI are integral to it and the BCCI would not be a success without the efforts that the members put in at the grass-root level. After having gone through your responses and in accordance with the feedback received, I am pleased to inform you that the BCCI is planning to start the domestic season 2020-21 with the scheduling of the T20 tournament for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.”
Shah added that the board will seek further feedback on organising the other domestic tournaments and that a decision will be taken after the group stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The BCCI will ask whether the state units wish to host the Vijay Hazare Trophy or the Ranji Trophy.
Meanwhile, BCCI has also extended the deadline for inter-state transfers and registration of guest players to December 20.