There is growing discontent over the IPL auctions being held on Dec 18 this year, mainly because it renders the the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament obsolete, reports Cricbuzz.

Over the past three years, the BCCI’s technical and fixtures committee had been staging the tournament before the IPL auctions, after franchises had put in requests to do so. This was to enable them to spot new talent. The tournament used to be played at the end of the domestic season but it was decided that it could be conducted immediately after the Ranji Trophy season.

This year, however, the auctions will happen right in the middle of the Ranji Trophy season. This has not gone down well with a few IPL franchises and some domestic players. TOI has learnt that there is no IPL governing council (GC) functioning at the moment and the decision has caught the technical committee by surprise. The Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament will begin on February 21.

“The technical committee and the fixtures committee scheduled the tournament keeping the IPL auctions in mind. However, it’s strange how the IPL auction could be slotted two months ahead of the domestic T20 tournament since there is no GC functioning and no office-bearers was kept in the loop,” a BCCI official told TOI.

The Mushtaq Ali tournament has thrown up unheralded names over the past few years. Khaleel Ahmed too became prominent playing the tournament last year. There have been surprise picks in Kerala’ Basil Thampi and Tamil Nadu’s T Natarajan, who drew hefty deals out of the blue. Interestingly, players from the nine new states have registered for the auction. At the start of the season, the board had claimed that the shortest format is the best opportunity to pit these new teams against the domestic heavyweights as it could give them the best chance to compete and also evolve as players. “It would have been ideal for the players from these states if the Mushtaq Ali tournament was played earlier. They could have showcased their prowess in the shortest format,” the official claimed.

“This year, the IPL franchises will depend on the Indian talent since a lot of marquee overseas players will be unavailable. Picking names in the middle of the season and three months before the IPL also increases the chances of players getting injured,” an IPL franchise official said.