Coronavirus: BCCI considering fielding two Indian teams simultaneously

Among the different options being considered to make up for “lost time” upon resumption of sport, is playing multiple internationals on the same day.

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India coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli during a training session.   -  Vivek Bendre

Cricket, just like the rest of the world, may emerge in a new avatar in the post-pandemic world. But Indian cricket - the cash cow of global cricket fraternity - may adopt an innovative measure to make up for the lost time by making India’s white-ball and red-ball squads feature in an international game simultaneously.

It may sound outrageous but among the different options being considered to make up for “lost time” upon resumption of sport, is playing multiple internationals on the same day.

READ| Aaron Finch open to two Australian teams playing at same time

“None of us know when sport, especially international cricket will resume. But if we have to safeguard all our stakeholders - from sponsors to spectators - one of the options is to select two different squads and play a Test series and a T20I series simultaneously,” a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official told Sportstar, citing anonymity.

If the BCCI is forced to squeeze in too many games in a limited window to take care of the broadcaster’s interest, it will have to field two different squads. The fans can thus enjoy a Test match during the day followed by a T20 international under floodlights.

READ| BCCI will be in financial trouble if there is no IPL, says treasurer

Sportstar
understands that the BCCI hierarchy has run the possibility by the coaching staff. Some members have been working on crunching numbers to keep two competitive squads at their disposal, should the need arise.

If the alternative has to be adopted, India would be the second team after Australia to virtually play two different series simultaneously. In February 2017, a day after hosting Sri Lanka in a T20I at the Adelaide Oval (Feb 22), Australia started the four-Test series in India with the opening fixture in Pune (from Feb 23). Two different Australian squads participated in the series, something that Indian cricket - and possibly other teams as well - may be forced to in the future.

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