MSD’s Future, Virat’s Targets & Day-Night Test on Ganguly’s Agenda
Ganguly has already made some statements which could shake up the status quo of Indian cricket — and the Indian team
In the span of a few hours on Sunday night, Sourav Ganguly went from being the Cricket Association of Bengal’s President to the new boss of Indian cricket.
“Until 10.30 at night yesterday, I wasn’t aware of this. Then, I was informed that I have to be the President of BCCI," he said, while filing his unopposed nomination for the top post on Monday afternoon.
A few days have passed since and as Ganguly gets set to take office on 23 September, the incoming BCCI President has already made a few statements which could shake up the status quo of Indian cricket — and some members of the Indian cricket team.
‘Virat & Co Need to Win More ICC Events’
Among the first big statements made by Ganguly included Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the lack of any new ICC silverware in the team’s kitty.
"My only thing is that they need to win big tournaments. They aren’t going to win every time, but they have gone through seven tournaments without winning one," Ganguly told reporters at Eden Gardens on Tuesday where he was welcomed with mega-celebrations after filing his nomination.
"They are a much better side than that. [Winning more ICC events] is an area they need to get ready mentally. Talent is enormous. We reached the World Cup semis. That's an issue which Virat needs to address. It doesn't happen in the boardroom," said the 47-year-old former skipper.
India last won an ICC tournament in 2013, when the MS Dhoni-led side beat England in the final of the 50-over Champions Trophy.
‘Will Ask Selectors to Make Decision on Dhoni’
After Virat’s lack of ICC trophies, Ganguly on Wednesday addressed the all-important question in Indian cricket — is MS Dhoni going to retire or play on?
Ganguly said he would speak to the selectors about Dhoni's future and seek their opinion and then, give his views on the matter during the meeting on October 24.
India's T20 squad for the Bangladesh home series will be picked in Mumbai on October 24 after Ganguly is officially appointed the BCCI President on October 23. The selection was supposed to take place on October 21 initially. India will play Bangladesh in three T20s starting November 3 and two Tests.
Dhoni has not played international cricket since India’s World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand.
“I will find out from the selectors when I meet them on 24th. I will find out what the selectors are thinking. Then, I will put my opinion," Ganguly told reporters at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) premises.
"Let's see what Dhoni wants," added Ganguly.
India to Play Day-Night Tests?
Under Ganguly, BCCI’s stance on playing day-night Test matches could change. The former Indian skipper made it clear that with the World Test Championship having an option of the teams organising day-night games, India too needs to move ahead rather than hold back.
"We will deal with it. It is too early for me to comment on how we will work on this, but let me take office and then we will discuss this with every member," he said.
Last year, Team India head coach Ravi Shastri had agreed to play day-night Tests against West Indies before deciding to inform the Committee of Administrators that the team wasn't ready. He had said that the team would need 12 to 18 months to prepare for the challenge of playing against the pink ball under lights.
Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli weren’t too keen on playing Test matches under lights, since the general notion was that playing day-night Tests would not contribute to the team's standing in the World Test Championship.
But Ganguly pointed that it would be wrong to think that the Test championship wouldn't see matches played under lights.
"World Test Championship has day-night Test because Adelaide will host pink-ball Test. I don't think it is the right call to say that World Test Championship wouldn't have day-night Tests," he pointed.
ICC Showdown Looming?
The new BCCI regime could soon be engaged in a bitter turf battle with the ICC since the world governing body's proposed Futures Tours Programme (FTP) could significantly hit Indian cricket board's revenue stream.
The new proposal calls for a World T20 every year and 50-over World Cup every three years. This is being perceived as ICC's plan to enter the global media rights markets for the 2023-2028 period before BCCI and exhaust the lion's share of revenues from potential broadcasters such as Star Sports.
This will be one of the major challenges, the Sourav Ganguly-Jay Shah regime will face immediately after assuming office. However, Ganguly has already made it clear that he is not on the same page as the ICC on the matter of staging the 50-over World Cup every three years.
“Sometimes, less is more in life. So we have got to be careful with that. And the football World Cup happens every four years and you see the madness.”Sourav Ganguly
The FTP is a calendar that both ICC and the member countries separately prepare for a five-year period during which the bilateral as well as multi-nation events are tentatively planned.
(With inputs from PTI)
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