Don’t prioritise T20 over four-day cricket: Gautam Gambhir | Cricket News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Looking forward to India’s domestic cricket season getting underway, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir hoped that all the domestic tournaments will progress smoothly without any hindrance.
In his column for the Times of India, Gambhir wrote, “By the time you read this, India would have either dug themselves deeper in a hole or salvaged some pride depending on their result against Afghanistan. Given that it is Diwali today, I was asked by my bosses to finish this column around 7 PM yesterday. So, rather than focusing on India vs Afghanistan game, I thought of chatting with you about India’s domestic season that kicks off today. Last season was stung by Covid and there wasn’t much to talk about. It seems this year we will have a proper serving of India’s domestic cricket calendar. Fingers crossed!”
For the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament, the teams have been divided into five Elite Groups and one Plate Group, which will compete in the league stage, which will be played at Lucknow, Guwahati, Baroda, Delhi, Haryana and Vijayawada.
“There will be 38 teams competing across 105 games in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy that rolls out today. While the teams will be competing to lay their hands on that coveted trophy, the individual players would be out to impress IPL franchisees. The next IPL auction will be a big one, especially with two new franchises having been added to the mix. I understand that almost all existing franchises have sent out their talent scouts to various venues. Next 2-3 months will be interesting period for these young men who could become overnight millionaires with the right combo of talent and luck,” Gambhir added.
The tournament will be a played in a bio-bubble for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But there is surely more to these fairytale, romantic stories. I have heard some disturbing viewpoints from some of the seniors and youngsters. An India cricketer, who has not been getting attention from the senior selection panel, was very clear in his plans. He would give 100 per cent in Syed Mushtaq Ali but had no intentions to toil in the Ranji Trophy. He was my former India teammate. During that time, he was absolutely committed but now he feels why should he work hard in 4-day cricket when the real money lies in franchise cricket? Unfortunately, the same impressions are being shared with budding cricketers,” Gambhir observed.
Karnataka, who were champions of back-to-back seasons (2018-19 and 2019-20), take on Mumbai in their first match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament.
“I don’t have a solution yet, but I am sure this trend needs to be arrested. Otherwise, we are not too far away from a situation where the entire focus is on Syed Mushtaq Ali as that is the gateway to the riches of IPL. Along the way some good things have happened as well. I don’t have the full information, but I am told two-time Ranji Trophy champions Vidarbha have started a six-team T20 league in Nagpur. This was done to identify the best T20 players in the state. Vidarbha should be congratulated for the fact that the tournament is not franchise-based but is solely owned by the state association,” Gambhir signed off.





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