Domestic cricket season to begin with Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy on January 10

The BCCI has announced the restart of Indian domestic cricket from January 2021, beginning with the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Karnataka is the holder of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after beating Tamil Nadu in the final in 2020.   -  VIJAY SONEJI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to start the domestic season with Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy from January 10.

In a communication to the state bodies - which Sportstar has accessed - the BCCI secretary Jay Shah has said that the tournament will end on January 31 in a bio-secure environment.

The teams will assemble in their respective bio-hubs on January 2 and start preparing for the season.

Even though Shah's letter does not specify the details of the venues for the tournament, Sportstar understands that it could be played in six bio-bubbles across zones.

"The BCCI will subsequently seek further feedback from the members on organising further domestic tournament/tournaments and a decision will be taken after the group stage of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The members are requested to factor a subsequent tournament in their planning and make arrangements accordingly," Shah wrote in the letter.

Ranji Trophy champion Saurashtra to start white-ball camp on Friday  

It has been learnt that a call on whether the Ranji Trophy could be held will be taken after the T20 tournament depending on how things pan out.

One of the state unit officials said that they are awaiting details. "We are waiting for details from the Board as to what's to be done next. We are awaiting clarity on the bio-bubbles and how they want us to go about it," a state unit chief told this publication.

A couple of weeks ago, the Board had written to the state bodies seeking their preference of tournaments. Keeping the safety protocols in mind, most associations had opted for the limited overs tournament.

Parthiv Patel: Once you prioritise the team and not individual success, nothing else matters  

The Mushtaq Ali Trophy has been preferred because the BCCI plans to hold a mega auction for the Indian Premier League in February, with two teams being added to the list. And the Board insiders feel that because of logistical issues, the second tournament could be the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

"There are still a lot of protocols in place in various states, so it would be a challenge to host the Ranji Trophy, whereas Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy takes less time, so maybe the Board can think of just organising the shorter tournaments this season," a state association secretary said.

Transfer dates extended

The Board has extended the deadline for inter-State transfer and registration of guest players till December 20.