The Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said that the historic decision to organise India’s first-ever day-night Test was a move to revive falling crowd interest in the five-day format.
India’s day-night Test against Bangladesh, the second game of a two-match series, will be held at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata from November 22-26, and will be a first for the visiting side as well.
Ganguly said he is happy that India skipper Virat Kohli as well as the Bangladesh Cricket Board have agreed on such a short notice.
“It’s just my job, that’s what I’m here for,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by PTI. “It’s because I’ve played this game for a long time. It’s great. I think common sense is important. And I think it’s a great move for Test cricket, and hopefully, it will bring crowds back to the ground.”
It’s been less than a week in office as BCCI chief for Ganguly, whose term ends in the next 10 months.
Ganguly added, “Test cricket needs this push. Me and secretary Jay [Shah] as well as our new team were pretty hell bent on it [day-night Test]. Thanks to Virat [Kohli]...he agreed straightaway. And even more to the Bangladesh Cricket Board, who agreed on such a short notice. It’s a good way forward.”
Ganguly managed to convince BCB mandarins after a lot of back channel talks. The former India captain said: “Things change like this. I think it’s a great start for Test cricket in the subcontinent. Our intentions have been good. It’s going to be no problem at all. Everything will be fine, don’t worry.”
In the Duleep Trophy games that were held in the preceding years (2016, 2017 and 2018), when Ganguly was the technical committee chairman, dew was one issue that became problematic for the spinners.
“We will make sure there’s no dew. After all, day/night one-dayers are played here. There’s this dew treatment spray that can be used. Nothing will happen [to the ground].”
Ganguly also informed that BCCI will persist with SG Test pink balls instead of Dukes or Kookaburra. “Hopefully SG. Because the first match will be with SG so the second Test will also have to be with SG.”
Asked why Kookaburra balls can’t be used, Ganguly said that two different balls [different companies] can’t be used in the same series.
“No, it can’t be the case because the series has to be played with same ball. It can’t be two different balls in the same series.”
With no Shakib Al Hasan, who was banned for two years for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption code, Bangladesh might find it problematic to deal with pink ball under lights. Ganguly said: “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. They have such quality players they would adjust easily.”
‘CAB will leave no stone unturned’
Cricket Association of Bengal secretary Avishek Dalmiya said they will leave no stone unturned to make India’s first-ever day-night Test a success. “In one word, we are delighted. Its also a great news for all the cricket lovers. Eden has been privy to a lot of history. It would be another feather on its cap,” Dalmiya said.
“CAB would leave no stone unturned to ensure that it is a successful event. The presence of dignitaries and distinguished guests, cultural shows and felicitation of former players would add to the grandeur of the event.”
The development ended days of speculation after new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly first proposed the idea to the Bangladesh Cricket Board, which faced resistance from its players and sat for multiple meetings to convince them. “We would not waste any time and would start planning internally to make it a memorable occasion from tomorrow itself and to give it a carnival feel. Other steps would be taken in this regard,” Dalmiya said.