India is divided by states and united by cricket. Cricket is more than just a sport in India – it is more like a festival that brings us closer despite our age, religion, and caste. You will find an ardent admirer of cricket everywhere you go. During cricket matches, you will find yourself hurrying up to complete all your tasks, just to sit in front of the TV.
Each moment is important in this game; each player’s victory fills us with immense joy. And there are very few things that are as enjoyable and entertaining as cricket championships. One such great cricket championship is the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy which brings us a month of happiness. In this article, we’ll learn all about the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
History Behind the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Launched in the year 2006-07, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is a domestic T20 cricket tournament held every year. Named after former Indian test cricketer Syed Mushtaq Ali, the SMAT championship is organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Rohit Sharma scored the first-ever T20 century in SMAT.
Format of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Back when it was launched, there were 27 teams divided into 5 zones, and winners and runner-ups from each zone qualified for the knockout stage. The rules have pretty much stayed the same, just the number of teams has increased to 38 in the year 2018-19. The zonal system has recently been abolished, and the 38 teams are now divided into five Elite groups.
Each Elite group consists of six teams, and there’s a Plate group that includes eight teams. The group winners and runner-ups qualify for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final round called ‘Super League’. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy schedules the same number of matches for all the 38 teams, and the top teams from both Elite and Plate groups enter into the knockout stage.
The current teams of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy are – Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Baroda, Bengal, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujrat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Mumbai, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Railways, Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Services, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Vidarbha.
Top Players of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
The SMAT of 2020 got postponed for the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus. Just like every year, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 has brought forward several players who have displayed amazing performances. Let’s take a look at the top 5 players who have performed with sheer brilliance and smashed the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy points table.
Tanmay Agarwal (Hyderabad):
Tanmay Agarwal is the first opener of the Hyderabad cricket team as well as the leading scorer. He played 7 innings in total, scored 334 runs along with a strike rate of 148.4. His highest score was 97 in this tournament.
Despite playing only 5 matches, this impressive opening batsman from Andhra became the fourth-highest run-scorer of SMAT 2021. He became the best among all the batters and maintained consistency of 80% throughout the tournament.
Sheldon Jackson (Saurashtra):
Sheldon Jackson is one such player who only gets better each year. He is now Saurashtra’s best player who has played 6 innings and has managed to score 271 runs in total.
Vijay Shankar (Tamil Nadu):
Vijay Shankar is from the finalist team Tamil Nadu. Even though he is not the most militant player on the team, it’s his consistency that makes him stand out. Vijay played 6 innings and scored 199 runs in total with a strike rate of 130.9.
Deepak Hooda (Rajasthan):
Deepak Hooda has been impressive almost since the beginning of his career, and even in 2021, he did not disappoint. He became the second-highest run-getter of SMAT 2021 by scoring 294 runs just by playing 6 innings.
Cricket is the most-watched sport for Indians as it is enjoyed by fans of all age groups. Just like other cricket tournaments, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy not only brings up new talents every year but also brings so many cricket fans under one roof.
FAQs about Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
- Who are the top players of SMAT 2021?
The top 5 players of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 are – (i) Tanmay Agarwal (Hyderabad) (ii) Ashwin Hebbar (Andhra) (iii) Sheldon Jackson (Saurashtra) (iv) Vijay Shankar (Tamil Nadu) (v) Deepak Hooda (Rajasthan)
- Why is it called Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy?
The championship was named Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after the renowned former Indian Test player, Syed Mushtaq Ali.
- Who won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021?
Shahrukh Khan from Tamil Nadu won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021.