Mushtaq Ali trophy likely to be zonal tournament from upcoming season

Jitesh Sharma of Vidharbha during national T20 meet; Image credit: India.com

Mumbai: Change is in the air in the corridors of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). If the decision to play Ranji Trophy matches on neutral venues wasn’t enough, now comes another suggestion that the national domestic Twenty20 tournament, under the name of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, will now be played among zones and not among states.

It is learnt through BCCI sources that president Anurag Thakur proposed this alteration in the tours and fixture committee meeting held recently. The idea behind this move is to make the tournament more engaging.

Previously, the tournament was being played among the five zones divided into groups and top two from each group used to advance to the next level to play a round-robin league. The two best teams would play the final to decide the champions.

But according to the fresh proposal, the state teams will be playing in a league format to pick the best squad based on performance to represent the respective zones. The zones then will play among themselves to decide the winners.

It may be recalled that earlier the technical committee headed by former India skipper current Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly had proposed few changes in terms of the the structure which also included the Duleep Trophy to be played with pink kookaburra balls.

The proposal of playing Ranji Trophy matches on neutral venues though has earned a fair amount of criticism from the fraternity, but there has no indication from the Board’s part to scrap the changes the technical panel had put forward for approval.

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