Sourav Ganguly: Decision to host day-night Test based on common sense

The concept of day-night matches with pink balls is a “great move for Test cricket,” says the BCCI president.

Sourav Ganguly: “I think it’s a great start for Test cricket in the subcontinent.”   -  Paul Noronha

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said the historic decision to organise India’s first-ever day-night Test was based on “common sense” as it was the only way to revive the buzz in the traditional format.

The day-night Test will be the second of a two-Test series against Bangladesh. It will be held at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. This will be the first such match for both teams.

Ganguly was happy that India captain Virat Kohli as well as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had agreed on it at such a short notice. “It’s just my job, that’s what I’m here for... Because I’ve played this game for so long. 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,” Ganguly told PTI.

‘Good way forward’

It’s been less than a week in office as BCCI chief and Ganguly has created something that will be his legacy even if his term ends in the next 10 months. “Test cricket needs this push. Me and secretary Jay [Shah] and our new team were pretty hell bent on it. Thanks to Virat [Kohli] also, he agreed straight away. And even more to [BCB] that they agreed at such a short notice. It’s a good way forward,” Ganguly said.

It wasn’t an easy job but Ganguly managed to convince BCB mandarins after a lot of back-channel talks. “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,” the former captain assuredly.

‘No dew’

In the Duleep Trophy day-night matches 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 is this dew treatment spray and all. Nothing will happen,” Ganguly said.

Ganguly also informed that the 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.”

Cricket balls from other manufacturers couldn’t be used as two different balls couldn’t be used in the same series, Ganguly clarified. “No, it can’t be because the series has to be played with same ball. It can’t be two different balls in the same series,” he said.

No Shakib, no problem

Without Shakib Al Hasan, who has been banned for two years (one year suspended sentence) for breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption code, Bangladesh might find it problematic to deal with the pink ball under lights. “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. They have such quality players they would adjust easily,” Ganguly said.

Was there a feeling of deja vu when Bangladesh agreed — just like when the Cricket Association of Bengal had hosted the India-Pakistan contest at short notice in the World T20 in 2016?

He replied: “This was scheduled. We just made it a day-night unlike that game.”

Now that the match will be a day-night one, Ganguly said he would now get on with the arrangement part. “We have not decided anything yet because we were not confirmed whether it’s going to be a day-night or day. Once this is confirmed, we will take it from there,” he concluded.