If you love cricket and are looking for some entertainment this January, then we suggest you watch the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – a mini-IPL.
When the Covid pandemic hit the United Kingdom around March 2020, a national lockdown occurred, and all sporting events were postponed to try and curb the spread of the disease. Mark Williamson, captain of Swindon Cricket Club (SCC), had been hoping that the restrictions would be lifted in time for the start of the cricket season in the middle of April, but this was not the case - Williamson and his fellow players at SCC had to wait until the end of July to take to the field again. This was the first time in 18 years that he had not played cricket or trained each week during the cricket season.
Who Knows What is Around the Corner?
They managed to finish the season in September and then a new lockdown came along, but it was less disruptive for SCC and other cricket clubs as the cricket season was over until April 2021. Williamson thought, just like we all did, that the worst of it would be over by Spring of 2021, but Boris Johnson has recently announced a new lockdown that is set to be reviewed in the middle of February. However, depending on how successful the vaccine rollout is, there is a chance that restrictions will be in place longer than first anticipated. There are even some experts predicting that things might not get back to some degree of normal until the summer months.
While Johnson has declared that professional sport can carry on as normal, albeit behind closed doors, all amateur sport has to stop. Therefore, if the restrictions are still in place come April, it will be a case of déjà vu for everyone involved at SCC and any other cricket club across the country. Nobody knows what the situation is going to be like in three months, so all we can do is stay at home and hope. There is a possibility that there will be little to no amateur cricket in 2021. Williamson is aware of this and hopes that this is not the case, however, he says that during times like these, there are more important things to think about than when amateur cricket will be back on the menu.
Domestic Cricket is Returning in India
During such times, we need things to keep us occupied and there is something happening in India very soon that will do exactly that. This is the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and it is the first domestic cricket event in India since the pandemic hit in 2020. The tournament will begin on the 10th of January, and many Indians are calling it a mini-IPL as there will be some regular IPL players participating in it. Furthermore, the auction for the 2021 IPL is scheduled to take place straight after the tournament ends, so everyone will be looking to put in their best performance in the hope of earning a lucrative contract for the IPL later this year. Williamson is looking forward to watching the action and urges all cricket fans to tune in at some point.
The big names often sit out of this tournament as they have played plenty of cricket throughout the year and need a rest, but many see it as a great way to get some practice in before the IPL begins. So, who are some of the big names that you can watch during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy? We have listed some of them for you below:
- Suresh Raina
- Dinesh Karthik
- Robin Uthappa
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Ishant Sharma
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Sarfaraz Khan
- Varun Arron
- Vijay Shankar
We asked Williamson who he thinks will be the player of the tournament and he believes that Shikhar Dhawan will be right up there come the end of the competition. He feels that there is no way that someone who has scored close to 10,000 international runs will fail to have an impact on such a tournament.
Betting on This Event
This is going to be a very entertaining event to watch and will help take your mind off the going ons around you. If you love your cricket, then there is nothing better than sitting down and some of the best in the game battle it out. However, you can make it more interesting by betting on some of the action. Obviously, in order to do this, you will need a good cricket betting site that offers plenty of different markets and competitive odds for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. A good bookmaker will allow you to bet on markets such as the best batsman, best bowler, Player of the Match, the number of runs scored, numbers of 4s, number of 6s and so on.
The Legendary Yuvraj Singh Will be Making an Appearance
Yuvraj Singh, who every knows for hitting England's Stuart Broad for six sixes in one over, has decided to come out of retirement to play for Punjab in this competition. Singh, whose biggest battle in life came when he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011, retired from the game in June 2020, but he decided to put his retirement on hold and play for Punjab when approached by their secretary, Puneet Bali. If he can find some of the form that made him one of India's most destructive players, then us fans are going to be in for a bit of a treat - and the bowlers in for a bit of a hiding.
However, cricket fans around the world will be disappointed to find out the Singh's former teammate, MS Dhoni, will not be playing at this tournament. This means that he will be playing at the 2021 IPL with not very much match practice. Nonetheless, we all know he still has the talent to make an impact on any game he plays.
S.Sreesanth Will Take to the Cricket Field Again
S.Sreesanth was given a lifetime ban from cricket 2013 when he was involved in some spot-fixing in the IPL. However, his ban was later cut down to 7 years, which meant that he could start playing cricket again in September 2020. He has been named in Kerala's squad for the competition, and we are certain that he is going to make an appearance at some point. When he does, there is a good chance that he will have a big say on how well his team does as he is still a talented bowler, despite having been out the game for so long.