The domestic cricket circuit in India has suffered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Matches and tournaments have been abandoned due to strict guidelines imposed by the government on outdoor sports. There is finally a good news for domestic cricket as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on December 13 that the Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 tournament will return in January.
As per Cricbuzz, BCCI secretary Jay Shah told state boards through email on Sunday that the domestic T-20 competition will kick off from January 10, while the tournament is expected to be concluded by January 31 provided there are no setbacks. This report also insists that teams have been told to assemble at their respective venues by January 2. Karnataka is the holder of the trophy after a stellar campaign in 2019.
Earlier in December, various state cricket boards had urged BCCI to prioritize the T-20 tournament as of now, while few were also inclined towards starting all forms of domestic cricket. It will be a big relief for state boards and domestic cricketers after this announcement from BCCI. All games are likely to be behind closed doors as the pandemic is yet to relax in the country compared to other cricketing nations.
From the perspective of the Indian cricket team, this announcement will allow the selection committee to monitor the progress of players that have been playing T-20 for the national team. Many players can also use this tournament as a platform to put their names forward for the T-20 series against England.
Considering the T-20 World Cup is set to be hosted by India during the second half of 2021, getting more T-20 games for Indian players will give more clarity to selectors. The majority of younger players such as Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan will be playing this tournament next month, but Rishabh Pant will miss out as he is with the Indian test squad in Australia.