The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) is the domestic T20 Trophy in India.
For the 2009-2010 season, the SMAT commenced on 25 September 2009 with league games in the South Zone. Meanwhile, the league games in the Central, East, West and North Zones were played from Oct 20 2009 onwards for a 6-day period.
A few observations:
- Although we have a Super League and Plate League for the Ranji Trophy, why do we still have a Zonal system in place for the domestic T20 championship in India?
- Why were the SMAT league games in the South Zone and the rest of India played on different dates?
And by the way, while the North, West, East and Central Zones were playing their SMAT league games, the Champions League T20 Cup was on at the same time! Why were the SMAT league games in the Central, North, East and West Zones not played at the same time as the South Zone SMAT league games? I suggest we do not pose that question to the BCCI, for I am not sure we will get a cogent answer! If the North, East, West and Central SMAT League games had been held at the same time that South Zone SMAT League games were held, the SMAT knock-out phase could have, quite conceivably, been conducted in the period Oct 20 to Oct 25.
Now, right after the North, East, West and Central SMAT League games were concluded, the SMAT games took a five-month break. Yes, after 25 October, the Indian cricket calendar got quite crowded, what with the Australian ODI series, Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, etc.
So, after a 5-month break until March 12 2010, The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy quarterfinals stage commenced. In other words, the domestic T20 championship in India commenced on the same day that IPL-III commenced in India.
So, right at this moment, we have two T20 championships on in India: A domestic inter-state championship and a domestic inter-franchise league!
Somethings just make you go “Hmmmm” in India!