Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson is set to return to cricketing action, as he takes charge of the Kerala team going into the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023. India's premier domestic T20 cricket competition starts on October 16, with 38 teams set to participate in their quest for the ultimate trophy. 

The tournament will culminate in the final showdown on November 6 at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Mohali and Chandigarh will host the knockout stages, including two Pre Quarter-Finals and four Quarter-Finals. The winners of the Quarter-Finals will secure a spot in the Semi-Finals, with the ultimate clash for the championship scheduled for November 6.

Royals at SMAT!



Sanju will be joined by fellow Royals and Kerala teammates Abdul Bazith and KM Saif. Apart from the Kerala trio, 13 other players from the Royals IPL squad are also set to feature in the competition, including Yashasvi Jaiswal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Riyan Parag, Devdutt Padikkal, Dhruv Jurel, Navdeep Saini, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Sharma, Akash Vashisht, Kunal Rathore. It will be a particularly new beginning for Murugan Ashwin (Chandigarh), Kuldeep Sen (Tamil Nadu) and KC Cariappa (Mizoram), who gear up to represent their newly adopted teams.

The opening day alone will witness a total of 18 games, setting the stage for a series of high-octane contests featuring the top stars of the Indian domestic circuit. As the players gear up for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy gains added significance. IPL scouting teams will closely monitor the performances in this T20 tournament, providing players with a golden opportunity to showcase their skills in the shortest format.


The teams are divided into five groups as follows:

Group A: Mumbai, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Hyderabad, Meghalaya, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Baroda

Group B: Sikkim, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Odisha, Kerala, Services, Assam

Group C: Arunachal Pradesh, Saurashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Manipur, Railways, Punjab, Andhra

Group D: Bengal, Vidarbha, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand

Group E: Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Tripura


For those eager to catch the action, Viacom18 has secured the streaming rights for all Indian domestic matches from 2023 to 2028. The Sports18 channel, part of the Viacom18 network, will be the go-to destination to witness the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023 matches. The tournament will also be live-streamed on the JioCinema app.