Riding on the encouraging figures of the latest season of the Indian Premier League, final touches are awaited for the yet-to-be-named T20 league in either USA or the UAE in September this year.
Following the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Working Committee meeting here on Friday, the ratified decisions included playing all first-class matches at neutral venues, changing the format and name of the National T20 championship for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, limiting the individual’s participation to just once in the World Cup (Under-19).
Addressing mediapersons here, Board president Anurag Thakur said, “In September, the BCCI is willing to host the ‘Mini IPL’ or ‘IPL Overseas’ with all the eight teams participating in a less than two-week window.”
Hailing the IPL as the “fastest growing league in the world”, Thakur said, “We have to look at, in which country we can play, how many players should participate, how long the format will be, who will be the broadcaster, etc.
“These issues are yet to be deliberated on, but we are keen to play in that window.”
Highlighting the fact that the Indian team was scheduled to play 46 Tests in the next five years, including hosting 13 Tests this season, Thakur said, “The Board was accused of focusing only on T20 but look at these figures — 76 one-dayers (in the next five years) and only 21 T20 matches!” Moving on, Thakur revealed, “I have also ensured that in the next eight-year FTP cycle, we play at least 20 matches in India so that the revenue of the Board and the State associations is secured.
“We will also fulfil our commitment towards other Boards, as we have to play a larger role in world cricket, but not at the cost of Indian cricket.”
Coming to domestic cricket and the National T20 championship played for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Thakur said, “It was proposed that T20 matches will be played on an inter-State basis only in the respective zones.
“These matches can be played at any time of the year, as decided by the teams involved in each zone. A league competition will then follow.
“The stake holders will be the State associations who will select a zonal team after forming a Board for the purpose. These Board members can decide to appoint a CEO and selectors to pick a team.
“A team from each of the five zones apart from a selection team from the Board or associate affiliates (will form the field in the proposed inter-zone competition).
“We have not decided if it will be a six-team or a five-team tournament. This will be the format, rather than the Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament, the way it has been played. This new format will give more matches, more glory and more glory to upcoming cricketers.”
Asked whether the trophy’s name would remain the same, Thakur said. “No.”