BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Monday remained hopeful that Bangladesh will agree to play the first-ever Day/Night Test between the two countries, notwithstanding the neighbours’ apprehension about facing the pink ball.
The Test is scheduled to be held at the Eden Gardens from November 22-26.
The final outcome of Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) meeting with its senior players will be intimated to the BCCI president by late Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
“I spoke to the BCB president (Nazmul Hassan). They are agreeable, they wanted to speak to the players. I’m sure it will be a day/night match. They will also officially announce it soon. Hopefully, by 10-10:30 pm tonight, we will get a confirmation,” Ganguly told PTI.
BCB’s head of cricket operations and former skipper Akram Khan acknowledged that there are practical issues like lack of preparation as far as playing with the pink ball under lights is concerned.
“It’s a great initiative but we need to take the players into confidence. If you look at the itinerary, we would probably get two days (November 21, 22) for training with pink ball under lights. That’s too little time for preparation. The players are meeting the president today. Hopefully, by tonight or tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, a decision will be made,” Khan said.
Ganguly, on his part, wants a final intimation by Monday night only so that preparation starts in full swing with other arrangements.
“If we get to know by tonight and then we will go forward with our plans by tomorrow.”
There are plans to invite India’s legendary Olympians like Abhinav Bindra, M C Mary Kom and P V Sindhu and felicitate them for their contribution to the country’s Olympic movement.
“We want to invite and have plans to felicitate Mary Kom, Sindhu and all (great Olympians). We are just waiting for the BCB’s confirmation at the moment. There are also plans to bring in school children, providing them free passes for the game,” Ganguly said.
A lot like Cricket Australia’s annual ‘Pink Test’ (players wear Pink caps) in association with the Jane McGrath Foundation to raise awareness about breast cancer, Ganguly also wants the Eden’s Day/night Test to be an “annual affair”.
“I want the Eden (Day/Night) to be an annual affair,” the president said without elaborating whether there would be some charity initiatives taken by the BCCI or the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
Indian cricketers have for long objected to playing with the pink ball but Ganguly recently said that skipper Virat Kohli has agreed to the idea.
Ganguly to meet Dravid to chalk out future roadmap
Longtime teammates Ganguly and Rahul Dravid will reconnect in Bengaluru on Wednesday as BCCI president and head of National Cricket Academy respectively to discuss the roadmap of Indian cricket’s feeder line.
Dravid, who took charge as NCA chief in July, has already drawn a roadmap for the institution and Ganguly is expected to give his inputs when the two former captains meet.
“Yes I’ve plans to revive NCA and I’m going to Bengaluru on October 30,” Ganguly told PTI.
The meeting will attended by all the newly elected BCCI office-bearers who took charge on October 23. NCA CEO Tufan Ghosh will also be part of discussions.
Ganguly and Dravid have been together at a few BCCI technical committee meetings, which the ‘Prince of Kolkata’ chaired and Dravid attended as India U-19 and A team head coach.
For the past few years, NCA, which was supposed to be the supply line of Indian cricket, has actually become a rehabilitation centre, which even Ganguly acknowledged after taking over.
Ganguly is expected to be updated on the new NCA project, which is being developed.
“Ganguly and Dravid will be discussing the way forward for NCA and the issues it faces,” a BCCI official told PTI.
It remains to be seen whether the new president seeks details on the rehabilitation plans of players like Prithvi Shaw, who will be back from doping ban along with strength and conditioning programmes for Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.
Many former players including VVS Laxman and India head coach Ravi Shastri have high expectations from the celebrated duo of Ganguly and Dravid.
“If you ask me one thing, it would be how Sourav can revive the NCA. The greatness of this Indian team is its bench strength,” Laxman had said last week.