New Delhi: The BCCI has decided to bring forward two domestic tournaments, the Zonal T20 league and the Syed Mushtaq Ali knockout tournament, to ensure the players have a chance to audition ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 auction on January 27-28.
According to a statement from the national cricket board, the Zonal T20 league will now be held from January 8 to 16 instead of January 21 to 29 while the Syed Mushtaq Ali knockout tournament has been pushed from the February 4-10 window to January 21-27.
“In view of the IPL Player Auction which is scheduled on January 27 and 28, there has been a change of schedule for the domestic tournaments,” the BCCI statement read.
“The changes are being done so that the T20 Zonal League and Syed Mushtaq Ali Knock out (except final match) are held before the IPL player Auction which will enable the domestic players to showcase their talent and will also be beneficial for the franchises during the Player Auction to build their teams,” it added.
Consequently, the fixtures for the Vijay Hazare Trophy — the domestic 50-over tournament — have also been reworked.
The group-league phase, which was to be played from February 16 to 25, has been advanced to February 5 to 14.
The schedule for the knockout stages has also been tweaked and it will be now played from February 21 to 26 instead of March 3 to 8.
Similarly, the Deodhar Trophy has also been advanced to March 4 to 8 from the earlier scheduled of March 14 to 18.
On the other hand, the Irani Cup, which will feature the Ranji Trophy winner against a Rest of India side, has been postponed from January to March.