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Sourav Ganguly: Day-night Tests with pink ball can attract big crowds in cricket

Cricket Association of Bengal chief Sourav Ganguly, who recently hosted a day-night inter-club final, adopts wait-and-watch strategy for pink-ball games

Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly is no stranger to storms. Recently, he experienced another when his former India teammate and fellow commentator Ravi Shastri revealed that he was disappointed not to see him present when the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) interviewed him for the India coach's post which ultimately went to Anil Kumble.

Also Read: Kumble: Pink-ball cricket way off, but day-night Test has a future

Former India skipper and Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly (right) throws a pink ball towards ex-Australia batsman Dean Jones (extreme left) as VVS Laxman and Mohammed Shami look on at Eden Gardens last month. Pic/PTI
Former India skipper and Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly (right) throws a pink ball towards ex-Australia batsman Dean Jones (extreme left) as VVS Laxman and Mohammed Shami look on at Eden Gardens last month. Pic/PTI

As expected, Ganguly reacted sharply and 'advised' Shastri not to go on a holiday when the India coach was being decided. mid-day speaks to the former India captain as he turns 44 tomorrow. He admits not being kicked about birthdays anymore, but is grateful for the amount of birthday messages he receives. While thanking his fans, he also reminds them, "I am not a kid anymore."

Ganguly is expecting a surprise party from his wife Dona and daughter Sana.

On the Ravi Shastri controversy:
Enough has been said. I do not wish to discuss anything further.

On whether the Cricket Advisory Committee offered the batting coach role to Ravi Shastri:
Yes, we offered Ravi the Indian team's batting coach post.

On why did Anil Kumble not take a bowling coach to the West Indies:
It is Anil's prerogative. Since he is a bowler, maybe, he did not appoint a bowling coach. I also have read in the newspapers that he may rope in pace bowling coach later. Let me stress that Sachin and Laxman have no role in appointing Anil's assistant coaches.

On talk that Zaheer Khan may be appointed bowling coach:
I have no knowledge about this. BCCI will have to see whether Zaheer is available for 365 days or not.

On the decision by his BCCI technical committee to host Ranji Trophy matches on neutral venues:
This decision was taken by the BCCI president (Anurag Thakur). We (technical committee) discussed it. Host teams were preparing wickets to suit them. As a result, the visiting teams were facing a lot of disadvantages. In order to put an end to this, a new rule was introduced.

On his enthusiasm to organise a pink-ball inter-club fixture as Cricket Association of Bengal president:
I feel day-night Tests with the pink ball is the need of the hour. It can attract big crowds in Test cricket. That's why I had to put my foot forward.

On Bishan Singh Bedi's view that India should not play pink-ball Tests:
It's his opinion. I do not want to comment.

On whether India is just following Australia in this regard:
To some extent, yes because the International Cricket Council too feels that Test cricket should have better crowds.

On the fear of night Tests not helping spinners because of the grass cover:
There is no hard and fast rule that the pink ball should be used only on grassy wickets. This is just the beginning. We should not jump to conclusions while the experiment is on.

On the challenge of manufacturing a pink ball to last:
Kookaburra has already made a ball and I am sure with passage of time Indian companies will make the pink ball easily. Since it is a new concept, the industry will take some time to adapt.

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