Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is India’s premier domestic T20 tournament organised by the BCCI. The tournament is a form of tribute to former Indian cricketer Syed Mushtaq Ali, who played 11 Tests as an all-rounder from 1934 to 1952. The 2019 edition of the tournament will be the tenth season since its inception in 2009. Previously, the BCCI had organised a domestic T20 competition in 2006-07 which was called as the “Inter-State T20 championship”. It was later scrapped and relaunched as the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
The upcoming season will see nine new teams playing for the first time. A total of 37 teams will be divided into 5 groups, with three groups having seven teams each and the remaining couple of groups having eight teams each.
All the teams that played the latest edition of the Ranji Trophy will take part in the competition. The tournament will begin from 21 February 2019 and the final is scheduled to be played on 14 March 2019. There will be a total of 140 T20 games played over 22 days. These matches will be played throughout the country at more than ten venues.
Each team will play against every other team in their group. The top two teams from each group will qualify to the Super League stage. The ten teams that qualify for this round will further be divided into two groups. The top-ranked teams from each Super League group will play the final.
The teams that will feature in the tournament in their respective groups are:
Group A: Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Delhi
Group B: Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Vidarbha, Gujarat, Bihar, Rajasthan and Meghalaya
Group C: Railways, Sikkim, Saurashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Goa and Mumbai
Group D: Odisha, Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka
Group E: Hyderabad, Tripura, Puducherry, Maharashtra, Baroda, Services, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand
Gujarat and Baroda have previously won the tournament twice each while Maharashtra, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, East Zone and Delhi have all been champions once. Defending champions Delhi will play their first match on the opening day against Jharkhand in Andhra Pradesh.