India-Bangladesh second Test likely to be day-night
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Monday remained hopeful that Bangladesh will agree to play the first-ever Day/Night Test between the two countries, notwithstanding the neighbours' apprehension about facing the pink ball.
New Delhi/Kolkata : BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Monday remained hopeful that Bangladesh will agree to play the first-ever Day/Night Test between the two countries, notwithstanding the neighbours' apprehension about facing the pink ball.
The Test is scheduled to be held at the Eden Gardens from November 22-26. The final outcome of Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) meeting with its senior players will be intimated to the BCCI president by late Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
"I spoke to the BCB president (Nazmul Hassan). They are agreeable, they wanted to speak to the players. I'm sure it will be a day/night match. They will also officially announce it soon.
Hopefully, by 10-10:30 pm tonight, we will get a confirmation," Ganguly told PTI.
BCB's head of cricket operations and former skipper Akram Khan acknowledged that there are practical issues like lack of preparation as far as playing with the pink ball under lights is concerned.
"It's a great initiative but we need to take the players into confidence. If you look at the itinerary, we would probably get two days (November 20, 21) for training with pink ball under lights.
That's too little time for preparation. The players are meeting the president today. Hopefully, by tonight or tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, a decision will be made," Khan said.
Ganguly, on his part, wants a final intimation by Monday night only so that preparation starts in full swing with other arrangements. "If we get to know by tonight and then we will go forward with our plans by tomorrow."
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.
"We want to invite and have plans to felicitate Mary Kom, Sindhu and all (great Olympians). We are just waiting for the BCB's confirmation at the moment.
There are also plans to bring in school children, providing them free passes for the game," Ganguly said.
A lot 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 also wants the Eden's Day/night Test to be an "annual affair".
"I want the Eden (Day/Night) to be an annual affair," the president said without elaborating whether there would be some charity initiatives taken by the BCCI or the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
After becoming the 39th president of BCCI, former skipper Sourav Ganguly emphasised the need for playing day/night Test matches to attract audience to the stadiums.
His remarks came during a ceremony by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) felicitating him on his new appointment.
"We all are thinking about this. We will do something about it. I am a big believer of day/night Test matches, I do not know when will that happen.
Till the time I am around, I will keep pushing about it. I must say, Virat Kohli, is agreeable to it. Once the captain of India agrees to it, life will become easier," Ganguly said during the ceremony.
"Yes you need to maintain the history of Test cricket, but you need to take the game forward. I am a firm believer of day/night Test matches, it can attract the audience to the stadiums. T20 cricket is seriously challenging the Test cricket, steps need to be taken," he added.
Both India and Bangladesh are yet to play in a day-night Test. Afghanistan and Ireland, the two newest full member countries of the International Cricket Council (ICC), are the two to have not featured in a day-night Test so far.
Indian cricketers have for long objected to playing with the pink ball but Ganguly recently said that skipper Virat Kohli has agreed to the idea. As the response is awaited from Bangladesh but the preparations at Eden Gardens are underway.
"We are waiting for the final go-ahead now, but yeah, we are expecting it to happen. As such, there is nothing different for us to do. A pitch is a pitch, we are hoping to make it a sporting one, with some pace." Sujan Mukherjee, the chief curator at Eden Gardens said.
"It has been raining intermittently for the past many days, and non-stop for the last three days. I am sure we will have time to do a good job, but we haven't been able to do much," he added.
Bangladesh's tour of India begins on November 3 as both sides will play in the first T20I of three-match series, followed by two Test matches.
Bangladesh's tour of India has three T20Is and two Tests, with the first T20I on November 3. The Tests begin on November 14 (Indore) and November 22 (Kolkata).