Ganguly: Ahmedabad pink ball Test sold out, decision on IPL crowds soon

The pink ball Test between India and England is slated to begin at Motera in Ahmedabad from February 24 and the authorities have decided to allow 50 per cent spectators.

"We'll see whether we can get the crowd back into the Indian Premier League, it's a decision we'll have to take very shortly," BCCI president Sourav Ganguly claimed (File Photo).   -  VIVEK BENDRE

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday announced that all tickets for the pink ball day-and-night Test between India and England in Ahmedabad have been "sold out", adding that a call on entry of spectators in the upcoming IPL will also be taken shortly.

The pink ball Test between India and England is slated to begin at the Motera, the world's biggest cricket stadium, in Ahmedabad from February 24 and the authorities have decided to allow 50 per cent spectators.

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"Ahmedabad is completely sold out. Happy to see normalcy back," Ganguly told Star Sports in an interview. "I spoke to Jay Shah and he's very keen on these Test matches. Just for him, cricket is coming back to Ahmedabad after six-seven years because they built the new stadium," former India captain said.

The fixture will be the second time India hosts a day-and-night Test. The first one was played in Kolkata against Bangladesh in 2019.

"I have told him that we have set an example with the pink-ball Test last year in Kolkata, so it cannot go beyond that and we want to see every seat and stand full. And that's what it is, the tickets have gone for the T20 matches which will follow the Tests as well," Ganguly claimed.

The second Test between India and England in Chennai marked the return of spectators for an international match in India after the COVID-19 outbreak forced a complete shutdown of sporting activities in March last year. The BCCI is also contemplating allowing spectators during the IPL, which is slated to begin in the second week of April.

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"This year is going to be big as well because of what it is. We'll see whether we can get the crowd back into the IPL, it's a decision we'll have to take very shortly. But it's going to be another great tournament," Ganguly said.

Talking about the IPL mini-auction, to be held on Thursday, Ganguly added: "It is not a big auction but a lot of teams will have a lot to fill. Specially Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings will have a lot of work to do in the auction."

The former Indian skipper confirmed that a pink ball Test will be a permanent fixture in every home series going forward. "Absolutely, one pink-ball Test in a series is ideal. Every generation goes through changes, pink ball is one of the main changes for Test cricket, to keep it alive. I think, with a packed Ahmedabad stadium, the next week will be another great sight for everyone."

On the personal front, Ganguly, who underwent two rounds of angioplasty last month, said he is feeling 'fit and fine.' "I'm feeling absolutely fine. Yes, there was a bit of scare but luckily it wasn't as scary as everyone thought. I'm fit and fine and I'm back to work," he signed off.