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Domestic T20 season in focus ahead of mega IPL auction

For star performers of last season in the IPL like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, a great show in the tournament might force their respective franchises to retain them.

Published: 03rd November 2021 10:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd November 2021 10:58 PM   |  A+A-

Tamil Nadu cricket team during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament. (Twitter | BCCI Domestic)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is almost like a big audition before the IPL auction. Though collectively, teams aim for the domestic title, individually, there is so much more at stake for the players. Coming into the upcoming edition which starts on Thursday with 19 matches on Day 1 in different cities, it assumes even greater significance for two big reasons.

Firstly, an IPL mega auction is set to take place before the start of the 2022 season. With teams only allowed four retentions, there will be plenty of room to accommodate the in-form or the standout players of the domestic T20 competition. Secondly, two new teams have been added to the league, which means that at least 30 more Indian players will be part of the cash-rich league compared to the previous years.  

An impressive individual outing might lead to franchises raising their paddles frequently at the IPL auction table, attracting a lucrative contract.  With franchises understanding the importance of possessing quality Indian players, even a few good cameos or special spells could prove to be a game-changer.

“All the players will be looking forward to this tournament. I think this is a good platform for the players.  If they perform well and catch the eye of the franchises here, it will be good for them.  It will definitely act as a motivation for the players as well,” said Tamil Nadu coach M Venkataramana, who added that his team is eager to retain the trophy.

But, it will be a big challenge for the players to bring their A-game consistently. With the domestic season having started on a later date due to Covid-19, the schedule is tight. More than 90 matches are going to be played over a course of six days in the group stages. It means that the teams in the Elite group have to play around five matches in six days, which makes it physically and mentally demanding, especially with a bio bubble in place.

For star performers of last season in the IPL like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, a great show in the tournament might force their respective franchises to retain them. On the other hand, players like Manish Pandey, who was below par last season, will be eager to make a mark and the Karnataka captain is aware of the importance of the competition. 

“Everybody is looking forward to the opportunities to make a mark and do something big for Karnataka. There are a lot of things to look forward to with the big IPL auctions coming up. Everybody will be looking forward to doing well here and getting noticed by the IPL teams,” said Pandey.

However, Madhya Pradesh coach Chandrakant Pandit has a somewhat different opinion and feels players should think beyond the IPL. “Players should not be only thinking about the IPL auction. The goal should not be that short. Of course, the motivation does come as there is a lot of money in the IPL.  They should utilise this tournament to get good exposure and convert it into a good opportunity. It is not only restricted to the IPL, but also for the future, players can be identified in the tournament for other formats too. They will also be under the eyes of the selection committee,” said Pandit. 



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