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Now, for some Indore Test cricket after 26 years

A Test cricket for a fabled venue made famous by India’s first Test captain CK Nayudu and ace batsman Mushtaq Ali

The city made famous by the likes of CK Nayudu, Mushtaq Ali and in more recent years Narendra Hirwani, will finally host a Test match.

Mushtaq Ali on the 1936 tour of England. Pic/Getty Images
Mushtaq Ali on the 1936 tour of England. Pic/Getty Images

Yesterday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Indore as one of the six Test debutant venues for the 2016-17 season. Rajkot, Vizag, Pune, Dharamsala, Ranchi are the others.

Indore's Holkar Stadium will host the opening Test of the India vs New Zealand series.

For Sanjay Jagdale, the president of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA), yesterday was a red-lettered day in the association's history.

India's Test captain Virat Kohli. Pic/Getty Images
India's Test captain Virat Kohli. Pic/Getty Images

Dream-come-true moment for Sanjay Jagdale
“It's a dream come true for all of us. We are proud of this city which has produced India's first Test captain (CK Nayudu) and the country's first overseas Test centurion (Mushtaq Ali) and of course Hirwani, who claimed a record 16 wickets on Test debut,” said Jagdale, who has served as a national selector, India team manager and BCCI secretary.
“For a big fan of Test cricket like me, this is a memorable moment,” added Jagdale, who apart from representing Madhya Pradesh in first-class cricket, also coached Hirwani.

Sandeep Patil remembers his 'second innings' at Indore
Sandeep Patil, current chairman of the national selection committee too raised a toast to Indore's debut announcement. Patil spent a lot of time in the city as coach and captain of the Madhya Pradesh Ranji Trophy team in the 1980s and early 1990s. “I am very happy for all the guys who have served cricket there and especially Jagdale. I have very fond memories of Indore. I started my 'second innings' there and I am sure the stadium will be packed for the Test. When the Challenger Series was held there a few years ago, around 10,000 people were outside the filled stadium,” said Patil.

The golden greats of Indian cricket in the Nayudu and Mushtaq era graced the Yeshwant Club Ground before all important games were played at the Nehru Stadium. The new Holkar Stadium is built on Maharani Usharaje Trust ground and has a 28,000 capacity.

Jagdale said they were expecting to get a Test and preparations have begun amidst the open selection trials for boys from all over the state.

Hirwani reckoned the news of Indore's Test debut was the best news the city could get. “There is no better cricketing honour for this city than getting a Test. I hail the efforts of Jagdale sir and MPCA. Filling the ground by their presence would be the ultimate tribute the citizens could pay to this great cricketing city,” said Hirwani, who is also the MPCA's
vice-president.

The last time India played 13 Tests in one season was way back in 1979-80 when India played six Tests each against Australia and Pakistan which was followed by the BCCI's Golden Jubilee Test against England. The 2016-17 season will also witness eight one-day internationals and three T20 internationals. Nagpur did not get a Test probably because of the ICC declaring its pitch for the 2015-16 India vs SA Test as poor. Delhi which has been linked to controversy, will not host a Test.

Pink ball Test at Eden?

Kolkata: The iconic Eden Gardens has emerged as the frontrunner to host the first ever Day-Night Test match in the country against the visiting New Zealand side even though CAB president Sourav Ganguly said it will depend on
their upcoming “pink ball experiment” from June 18. “Hosting a D/N Test will depend on the success of
the Duleep Trophy. We are also organising the country’s first d/n four-day CAB Super League final with pink Kookaburra balls from June 18-21 on an experimental basis. We will see how it goes,” Ganguly told PTI.

Breakdown of 13 Tests in India this season
>> 3 Tests vs New Zealand at Indore, Kanpur & Kolkata
>> 5 Tests vs Eng at Mohali, Rajkot, Mumbai, Vizag & Chennai
>> 4 Tests vs Aus at Bangalore, Dharamsala, Ranchi & Pune
>> One-off Test vs Bangladesh at Hyderabad

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