KSCA mulls to hold Mushtaq Ali in Alur

KSCA mulls to hold Mushtaq Ali in Alur

Karnataka emerged champions in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) is contemplating to host the Elite ‘A’ matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at Alur grounds, on the outskirts of the city. The T20 tournament’s lung-opener, defending champions Karnataka will begin their quest for a third consecutive title against Jammu & Kashmir on January 10 here.

In the BCCI’s first domestic meet in the Covid-19 era, 38 teams are slotted across five Elite groups and one Plate group. Apart from Bengaluru, the other venues are Kolkata (Elite B), Vadodara (Elite C), Indore (Elite D), Mumbai (Elite E), and Chennai (Plate Group).

“Coincidentally they (BCCI) have given us three matches per day. And if things are okay, we can play the entire leg in Alur because we have the luxury of three grounds without even coming to the Chinnaswamy (Stadium). No other State in the country has that kind of an advantage. For now, we haven’t finalised it. Once the SOP arrives, we will hold a committee meeting and take a call,” KSCA secretary Santosh Menon told DH on Thursday.

The teams will assemble at their respective venues on January 2. Players will undergo three Covid-19 tests on January 2, 4, and 6. All teams will be allowed to practice on January 8 and 9.

“We haven’t received clear indications with regards to the SOP from the BCCI. We aren’t sure if two teams or three teams can stay in the same hotel. We cannot really call it a bio-bubble. They (BCCI) are calling it a hub. So probably in two days, we will know how the hub is going to be,” explained Santosh.

The coronavirus outbreak delayed the 2020-21 domestic season. The KSCA was one of the first few associations to show interest in hosting the tournaments.

“We were proactive because we have finished the YSR memorial tournament and we are wrapping up the T20 League also. We must compliment the players and club secretaries for not breaching the protocols. Kudos to the match officials like umpires and scorers, who took up additional responsibilities like checking temperatures of the players, carrying the essentials like thermometers, sanitisers, masks, and balls,” said Santosh.

Santosh added that the KSCA will seek the advice of Brijesh Patel, the IPL Governing Council chairman, in creating a bio-secure environment for the tournament. “The fact that Brijesh Patel can guide us is great. He has organised a bigger tournament than Mushtaq Ali. So his inputs will be useful,” he said.

The knockouts and the final will be played at the Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Elite A: Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Railways, and Tripura.

Karnataka’s fixtures: Jan 10: vs Jammu & Kashmir; Jan 12: vs Punjab; Jan 14: vs Tripura; Jan 16: vs Railways; Jan 18: vs Uttar Pradesh.

Knockouts: At Ahmedabad: January 26: Quarterfinals 1 & 2; January 27: Quarterfinal 3 & 4.

January 29: Semifinal 1 & 2.

January 31: Final.