BCCI FOR MINI-IPL ABROAD IN SEPT

Mushtaq Ali T20 scrapped

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday announced the launch of a new twenty20 tournament-the `Mini-IPL’ (a league of a maximum duration of 10-15 days), which will be held every September abroad to capitalize on the overseas popularity of the tournament here.

“In September, the BCCI is willing to host `mini-IPL’ or `IPL overseas’ with all the eight teams participating in a shorter format. Not home and away matches, but less number of games in a less than a two-week window. We would be able to complete that. It is a tight schedule.

It is in a less than two-week window that we have to organize (the tournament). And we have to look into various details, like which country we can play, how many teams, how many players should participate, who will be the broadcaster -all these issues need to deliberated, but we are keen to play in that window.“ BCCI president Anurag Thakur said after the Board’s Working Committee meeting here.

Ranji at neutral venues

India’s domestic cricket, as we knew it, will cease to exist, with a brand new, experimental avatar replacing it this season. As expected, in a first, all the Ranji Trophy games will be played on neutral venues. In another debatable decision, the BCCI has decided to scrap the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy -its state-based domestic T20 tournament since 2007, and replaced it with a tournament which is formatted on the lines of the previous version of the Duleep Trophy.

Firstly, all the teams in a zone vie with each other at any time of the year. The selectors from that zone then pick a team which will represent that zone in an inter-zonal `league,’ which may include another team picked by the national selectors too.

All these moves, which will change the face of domestic cricket in India, are apparently a brainchild of Thakur.Sources close to the developments say that this will help the Board create a tournament (the inter-zonal league) which may see around 90 of the best T20 players in the country take part in it. It was felt that the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy had lost its relevance, and the Board could instead create a property which will have much more commercial value-both in terms of sponsors and the telecasters.

Harmanpreet to play in Big Bash

Thakur also announced that Harmanpreet Kaur has become the first woman cricketer in India to be signed by an overseas Twenty20 franchise, inking a deal with Sydney Thunder, the reigning Women’s Big Bash League champions, for the second edition of the Australian T20 league, which will be played in December-January . The BCCI had cleared India’s women players to participate in overseas leagues earlier this month.

Juniors can play in only one U-19 WC

In another significant decision, which will go a long way in curbing age fraud, the Board has decided that a cricketer can play for India in only one ICC Under-19 World Cup, and play for the India Under-19 team for only two seasons. The move was recommended by the BCCI’s its junior committee, which met here on Thursday.

According to sources, batting legend Rahul Dravid, who was the coach of the Indian team in the last ICC U-19 World Cup, is believed to have told a Board officials that he su spected a few players in side of having fudged their age to take part in the tournament. Playing for the India U-19 team, especially in a World Cup, brings a budding cricketer into limelight, which many youngsters are desperate about.

BCCI goes digital

In a serious effort to digitalize its units and make them more transparent and professional, the BCCI will now introduce annual awards for the state associations for the best website, Facebook page, Twitter Handle, Instagram, media facility and media Operations.

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