Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament to be an inter-zonal affair
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the National T20 Championship is set to undergo a revamp with The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is all set to make it an inter-zonal competition from the present inter-state competition.
Anurag Thakur, the newly appointed BCCI head has suggested this format in order to make the tournament more engaging for the audience, and also to improve to quality of cricket.
According to the prevailing structure, the tournament's initial round is played with state teams being divided into various groups. The top teams from these initial rounds will then be divided into two groups, and the top two teams from these groups will progress to the final.
The new proposal will see state teams play against each other at a zonal level, and then as the round is over, each zone will have one common team.
"With 1882 playing days, the BCCI has shown how serious we are about our domestic structure. We have decided to have Ranji Trophy at a neutral venue, Duleep Trophy with pink ball and now we are trying to make Mushtaq Ali more competitive by bringing in zonal structure. The aim is to improve the quality of domestic cricket. We are trying to finalise details and senior officials will be putting a process in place," Anurag Thakur said.
As per this structure, the top performers of East, Central, North and West will represent their zones and the sixth team might be called the Board President's XI or the Rest of India.
"Yes, we discussed the issue at length during Fixtures Committee Meeting. The endeavour is to make domestic cricket more engaging and viable," Thakur told PTI today.
The Duleep Trophy has also seen a revamp as the teams will be selected by the National Selectors.
Also, the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament will be held at such a stage that the IPL scouts will keep an eye on the top performers.