Sourav Ganguly: As an administrator, I want packed houses for Tests in India
CAB president Sourav Ganguly talks about pink-ball cricket drawing big crowds for Tests, the upcoming OIDI series between India-Australia and ongoing Duleep Trophy
A view of the packed stands during the pink ball Test played between Australia and NZ at Adelaide Oval on November 28, 2015
Sourav Ganguly wants to see Test cricket flourish with Indian crowds checking into stadiums to watch day-night cricket played with the pink ball someday soon. If not for his insistence, the ongoing Duleep Trophy, played with the pink ball, may have been shelved for the season. He is determined that the tournament in which he figured often in his playing career should stay significant. As Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) chief, Ganguly is busy preparing for the second India v Australia ODI to be held at the Eden Gardens on September 21.
Excerpts from an interview:
On India beating Sri Lanka 9-0 on their recent tour:
It has never happened before so it's a very creditable performance. However weak Sri Lanka was, India had to go into matches and win them. I welcome this attitude of ruthlessness. They didn't bother about the opponent's strengths or weakness.
Sourav Ganguly. Pics/Getty Images
On India's next opponents – Australia:
India are definitely favourites, but it may not be a 5-0 result for them. I will be surprised if that happens.
On Eden Gardens' preparation for the Septemer 21 ODI:
It's still raining in Kolkata. We are ready and the outfield has been well covered, so it's dry. Two days ago, curator Sujan Mukherji had to water the 22-yard strip despite the rain. That's how well protected the pitch is. We have introduced a modern draining system in which the water goes down very quickly.
On the composition of the Indian team for the first three ODIs:
It's a good team and the selectors have done well to bring back Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav to face one of the best teams in international cricket. Jasprit Bumrah should be tried out in a Test match. He is bowling well. He can bowl with the new and old ball and is a very successful death overs bowler. India are playing their next Test series against Sri Lanka and that too in India so they can try him to have another option.
On the Duleep Trophy which is being played with the pink ball which he has pushed for:
As far as Duleep Trophy is concerned, my view is very clear: How can you kill a tournament? It has to be discussed either in the working committee or the special AGM. You can't chuck away a tournament one fine morning. I do understand the packed calendar, but somehow we have found a window for this and we have to keep on trying to keep it significant. And it's not about me being a fan of the pink ball. The idea is to bring back crowds to Test cricket and that's the reason the Duleep Trophy is being played under lights and with the pink ball. The first pink ball Test between 2015 Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide was houseful. The recent Birmingham Test contested by England and West Indies drew big crowds too so as an administrator, I would like to see packed houses for Test cricket.
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