Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is India’s domestic T20 competition which was started by the Board of Cricket Council in India [BCCI] in the year 2006. This tournament is named after the great cricketer- Syed Mushtaq Ali, who is India’s first cricketer to score a century outside the Indian soil. Paytm is the official title sponsor of this tournament.
Even after the introduction of the India Premier League in 2008, the BCCI didn’t let the domestic tournament [Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy] fade away nor did they upgrade the domestic teams to franchise city based teams. They wanted to produce more and more local talent in the country.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was earlier called the Inter-State T20 Championship, in which 27 teams were divided into 5 Zones. The winner and runner-up of each zone had qualified for the knockouts.
The 2016-17 season was a special one as the combined zonal team [Players belonging to different states but same zones played together in one team] played the super league, instead of winners or runner-up of each zone.
After the addition of 9 new teams in the domestic structure, the Zonal system was removed and was replaced by the group system. Teams are now divided into 5 groups and the winner and runner-up qualifies for the Super League. 10 teams are divided into two Super League groups and the winner from each group plays the final.
The previous season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy [2020-21] was conducted successfully behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment despite the rising number of cases of coronavirus in the country.
All the Knockout matches were played at the world’s largest stadium called Narendra Modi stadium of Ahmedabad.
Under the captaincy of Dinesh Karthik, Tamil Nadu won their second title by defeating Baroda by 7 wickets in the final of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. The Tamil Nadu team performed brilliantly in this tournament led by Dinesh Karthik and ultimately became the champion of the season.
The opposition team Baroda had scored 120 runs for 9 wickets in 20 overs and Tamil Nadu had an easy target of 121 runs to chase it down. The target was achieved with 7 wickets in hand and 2 overs to spare.
Manimran Siddharth was adjudged Player of the Match for his lethal bowling. The team from Tamil Nadu won the title for the second time. Earlier in the 2006-07 season, this team won the title for the first time under the captaincy of Dinesh Karthik and after 13 years, once again under the captaincy of Karthik in the 2020-21 season, Tamil Nadu again won this title.
Why is the need for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in India if there is already an IPL?
India is a country of 1.21 billion population, accordingly the talent in the country is also immense. IPL is called the world’s biggest T20 extravaganza because a lot of overseas stars and Indian star players play in this tournament. There is so much revenue generated by the BCCI and broadcasters during the two months of IPL period.
Although each franchise has the liberty to play 7 Indian players in every team, a lot of local talent gets unnoticed (some of them don’t even get picked in the Auction as they go unsold). A lot of times the performances of international players are overshadowed by the uncapped players, hence many of domestic talented players aren’t recognized enough in comparison to capped players.
Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy is the ideal platform for the Indian local talent to showcase their talent in front of Indian national team selectors and scouts of IPL who monitor the players throughout the tournament. We see a lot of selectors and scouts in the stands who keep an eye on specific players and monitor their progress every season.
A lot of players like Devdutt Padikkal, Sharukhan, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Varun Chakravarthy, Lukman Meriwala etc have made their way to the IPL teams by consistent and outstanding performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Therefore this tournament is the basic criteria required for Indian locals to qualify for the higher level of cricket.
38 Indian domestic teams take part in this league. The teams are divided into 6 groups namely group A,B,C,D,E and Plate division. Each team gets to play 5 matches in the group stage regardless of the number of teams in the group.
The qualification and format changes after every year due to various reasons. Based on the previous edition, a total of 8 teams will qualify for the quarterfinals from the six groups. The number of teams qualified for the quarter-finals varies per group, in some groups the top-2 teams qualify while in other only table-toppers of the groups qualify for the quarter-finals.
Teams Participating is this league –
1. Andhra Pradesh
2. Arunachal Pradesh
13. Himachal Pradesh
15. Jammu and Kashmir
19. Madhya Pradesh
34. Tamil Nadu
36. Uttar Pradesh
Winners By Season –
Tamil Nadu are the champions of the inaugural edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and are also the defending champions. The level of competition in this tournament is so high that no team has won the trophy more than two times. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Baroda are the joint- successful teams of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with two trophies each. Mumbai is considered a strong team in first-class cricket and List A cricket [50 overs] but they haven’t delivered in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy by their standards.
|9||East Zone||Central Zone||2016-17|
MOST RUNS –
Kedar Devdhar has scored the most runs in the history of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He has scored 2215 runs at an average of 32.10 at a decent strike rate of 121.30. Mayank Agarwal is the only player featuring in the top-10 list who is around the current Indian national team.
|1. Kedar Devdhar [Pondicherry]||2215|
|2. Harpreet Singh [Chattisgarh]||1986|
|3. Shreevats Goswami [Bengal]||1974|
|4. Madeep Singh [Punjab]||1820|
|5. Paras Dogra [Himachal Pradesh]||1804|
|6. Virat Singh [Jharkhand]||1802|
|7. Adithya Tara [Mumbai]||1758|
|8. Ankit Lambda [Rajasthan]||1718|
|9. Mayank Agarwal [Karnataka]||1644|
|10. Robin Uthappa [Kerala]||1603|
Most Wickets –
Piyush Chawla is the leading wicket-taker of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He has taken 92 wickets averaging around 20 at a good economy of 6.69.
|1. Piyush Chawla [Gujarat]||92|
|2. Jaydev Unadkat [Saurashtra]||78|
|3. Ankit Rajpoot [Uttar Pradesh]||77|
|4. Siddharth Kaul [Punjab]||75|
|5. Lukman Meriwala [Baroda]||72|
|6. Aniket Choudhary [Rajasthan]||72|
|7. Amit Mishra [Haryana]||72|
|8. Bipul Sharma [Chandigarh]||67|
|9. Vinay Kumar [Karnataka]||58|
|10. Pankaj Jaiswal [Himachal Pradesh]||65|