Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has expressed his disapproval at a BCCI official dismissing the quality of one of their domestic competitions, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
The tournament is effectively a T20 equivalent of the Ranji Trophy, including all the Indian state teams, and is a regular part of the Indian domestic season. The BCCI official in question, according to Gavaskar, implied the tournament was poor quality when discussing the possibility of playing the IPL without foreign players.
“For a so-called top BCCI official to comment that ‘the BCCI has to ensure the quality of the game is not poor. We did not want a Mushtaq Ali tournament,’ is an incredibly insensitive statement if indeed it is true,” Gavaskar wrote in a column for The Hindu.
Gavaskar labelled the comment “insulting” to Mushtaq Ali, the scorer of India’s first overseas Test century, before going on to question why the BCCI were not taking steps to rectify the supposed lack of quality in the competition.
“Firstly, it’s insulting to the great man after whom the tournament is named and secondly begs the question that if it’s such a ‘poor’ tournament, then why have it at all? Also, can light be shed on why the quality of the tournament is poor? Surely it’s not simply because there are no international players in it, but also because there are no Indian internationals in it! That is a scheduling issue that the BCCI has to look at.”
No decision has as yet been made on the participation of overseas players in the IPL with the tournament currently postponed until April 15 at the earliest.