India tour of Australia: Sourav Ganguly hoping for a shorter quarantine period for Kohli & Co.

The BCCI president says the Australia series will be career-defining for captain Virat Kohli.

BCCI president and former India captain, Sourav Ganguly.   -  PTI

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly wants a shorter-than-mandated quarantine period for the Indian cricket team when it travels to Australia for a Test series this year.

“We don’t want the players to go that far and sit in hotel rooms for two weeks,” he said on The Inspiration, a show by India Today.

“It is very, very depressing and disappointing. We are looking at that, the quarantine thing. And, as I said Australia and New Zealand have been in good position except Melbourne. So from that point of view we will be going there and hopefully the quarantine days will be less and we can get back to cricket,” he said.

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Ganguly also said the Australia series will be career-defining for captain Virat Kohli. “[In] my presidentship tenure, I don’t know whether I will survive by this December or not. But his captaincy tenure is going to be a yardstick. This will be a milestone series,” he said.

‘You have got to stay fit’

“I have been in touch with him, telling him ‘You have got to stay fit. You haven’t played cricket for six months. You have got to make sure your best bowlers are ready for the tour and fit.’ Whether it’s [Mohammed] Shami, whether it’s [Jasprit] Bumrah, whether it’s Ishant [Sharma], whether it’s [Hardik] Pandya, they have to be at the top of their match fitness when they land in Australia,” he said.

Ganguly also spoke about the many challenges he encountered in ensuring that the Board continued to function amid the pandemic. “This is unreal. For four months, we haven’t been to the office in Mumbai. This is my seventh or eighth month as BCCI president out of which four months have been taken away by COVID. So we have been working on video conferencing but that’s what it is. I can’t change it. I have to accept it and try and do the best I can in this situation,” he said.

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Asked about the BCCI petition in the Supreme Court which seeks an extension of tenure for him and secretary Jay Shah, Ganguly said, “I don’t know whether we will get an extension or not. If we don’t, we don’t, I move on to something else,” he said.

Ganguly and Shah’s tenures end this month as per the Lodha Committee administrative reforms, which put a cap on the reigns of office-bearers.

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