Posted On Sunday, March 03, 2013 at 08:45:18 AM
The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy has always been a poor cousin of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Bereft of the razzle dazzle of the IPL, the championship, often, turns into a tlacklustre affair with the players invariably going through the motion.
This year, however, it will be different. In a thoughtful move, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) strove to bring some context to the domestic inter-state Twenty20 tournament.
The board has allowed the IPL franchises to recruit uncapped players after the end of the competition although every team has to submit its final list of players by March 4. Conversely, the franchises can submit the player list as per the IPL deadline, pending the announcement of the uncapped players.
They have up to this month-end to recruit the uncapped players as the Mushtaq Ali Trophy concludes in Ranchi on March 31. The intra-zonal matches of the tournament will be held at different centres from March 17-22. The BCCI/IPL took the decision on Friday and duly informed the franchises.
The move has turned the tournament into a platform for the IPL aspirants and the incentive of an IPL berth could make the championship more competitive. “It’s a very good move and now the players have an incentive to do well in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy,” says Jaydev Shah, captain Saurashtra, who has been part of different IPL teams but is yet to play in the Twenty20 extravaganza.
“It’s an excellent decision as it brings some context and relevance to the Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The matches should be exciting,” says Raghu Iyer, the CEO of the Rajasthan Royals team. He has no doubt that he would be in lookout for some talented domestic players.
“We will keep a watch on the proceedings of the tournament. I’m sure other franchises also will be keenly following it,” he remarked. Teams can have 33 players, including 11 foreigners. The IPL starts on April 3.
About Mushtaq Ali Trophy
The knockout matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 Trophy will be held in Ranchi from March 26 to 31. Two teams from five zones qualify for the inter-zonals. The intra- zonal matches will be held in Lahli and Rohtak (North Zone), Shimoga (South), Agartala (East), Ahmedabad (West) and Nagpur (Central) from March 17 to 22.