The Indian cricket team will play its first-ever Day-Night Test match here against Bangladesh, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said on Tuesday, ending days of speculation surrounding the game.
The Test is scheduled to be held at the Eden Gardens from November 22-26 and will be the second game of a two-match series.
The development ended days of speculation after Ganguly first proposed the idea to the Bangladesh Cricket Board, which faced resistance from its players and sat for multiple meetings to convince them.
“It’s a good development. Test cricket needs this push. I and my team were bent on it and thanks to Virat (Kohli) also, he agreed,” Ganguly said.
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 during the match.
Just 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 wants the Eden Gardens’ Day-night Test to be an "annual affair".
Indian cricketers have for long objected to playing with the pink ball, asserting that sighting the ball becomes a problem after it gets old.
It was Ganguly, who was instrumental in organising the first ever pink ball match in India although it was a Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Super League final between Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore under lights in June, 2016. Ganguly headed the CAB at the time.
Two players, who played that match -- Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammed Shami -- are expected to play the first ever pink Test.
The BCCI had introduced the pink ball in Duleep Trophy that same year and it continued for three seasons before the Board scrapped it this year due to lack of broadcast coverage.
Mayank Agarwal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma have also played pink ball Duleep games among the current India players.
The spinners have expressed concerns about the dew factor, which they believe, puts them out of equation.
Ganguly, however, assured that conditions won’t be a problem.
“We will sort this out and there would be no dew. We have day-night one-dayers after all and dew spray is used,” he said.
"This is the beginning of something special in Indian cricket. It is a priority for the newly elected Office Bearers and members of Apex Council to take Indian cricket forward. For me, as former Captain of India and as the current President of BCCI, Test cricket is of utmost priority and we at BCCI will leave no stone unturned to bring this format back to its feet," he added.
Bond of strength
Nazmul Hassan, President, BCB, said: “The BCB and BCCI share a very long history of support, co-operation and friendship. Ours is a bond of strength and it is very heartening and reassuring for the BCB to have someone like Mr Ganguly as BCCI President who has been an integral part of this journey.
"On that note, I am pleased that we have had a frank and constructive discussion with the players and the Team Management. I have received a positive response about playing the Day-Night Test in view of the BCB-BCCI relationship.”
Internationally, there have been 11 day-night Tests so far since the first between Australia and New Zealand in 2015. The most recent day-night Test took place in January this year between Australia and Sri Lanka in Brisbane.
India were approached to play a day-night Test during their tour of Australia last year but the country declined the offer at that time, asserting that sighting the ball becomes a problem after it gets old under floodlights.