After an unprecedented delay due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, India’s domestic season will finally get going with the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy commencing on January 10.
The 38-team competition is named after former India all-rounder Syed Mushtaq Ali, who holds the prized distinction of having scored India’s first overseas Test hundred. In just his fourth Test match in 1936, the then 21-year-old smashed 112 runs in 150 minutes against England in Manchester.
Even though Syed Mushtaq Ali played just 11 Tests, he had a decorated domestic career under his belt. In 226 first-class matches, he scored 13,213 runs at an average of 35.90 with 20 hundreds and 63 fifties. Additionally, his left-arm orthodox spin fetched him 162 wickets at a strike-rate of 59.1.
Syed Mushtaq Ali’s international numbers aren’t too bad either. In 11 Tests, he scored 612 runs at an average of 32.21 – including two hundreds and three fifties – and scalped three wickets from 378 deliveries.
Born on December 17, 1914, Syed Mushtaq Ali made his debut against England in Kolkata in 1934. He represented the country for the last time in 1952 against the same opposition.
The right-handed batsman passed away in Indore on June 18, 2005, aged 90.
History of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
In 2006-07, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conceptualized the tournament, with 27 Ranji teams divided into five zones under the name of an Inter-State T20 Championship. This was later renamed and relaunched as the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
The 14 seasons since the inaugural one in 2006-07 have seen 11 winners. This is because the tournament was not played in 2007-08 and 2008-09, while the BCCI replaced it with a zonal competition in 2016-17.
The board, however, restored the original version in the following season and that is being followed ever since.
Karnataka, Baroda and Gujarat have the most number of titles (two each), while Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Bengal, Baroda, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have won once each.
Published 07 Jan 2021, 17:20 IST