Architect of India’s first-ever Day/Night, or pink ball Test, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday said five-day cricket “needed rejuvenation” to revive interest in the game’s traditional format.
India’s last series against South Africa witnessed a poor turnout but the tickets for the first three days of the pink ball Test, beginning here on Friday, have already been sold out.
“That’s the way forward. Test cricket needed a rejuvenation,” said Ganguly, who took the onus to organise the inaugural Day/Night Test in the country after becoming the Board president last month.
“It happens all around the world. Somewhere it had to start. India is the biggest country in terms of cricket. I think that rejuvenation was important.”
As the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president, Ganguly had successfully organised an India-Pakistan marquee World Twenty20 clash in 2016 at a short notice, after it was shifted out of Dharamsala. However, Ganguly said organising the pink ball Test is more challenging.
“The challenge was to get people back into the ground. An India-Pakistan match would anyways get filled anywhere in the world. You just announce it and the crowd will be filled,” the former India skipper said.
“This was much more difficult and we managed to fill 65,000 on each of the first three days. It feels more satisfying.”
Ganguly said India captain Virat Kohli would be happy to see a full house when he walks out to bat against Bangladesh.
“He is a great player and he should be playing in front of packed house. He will be happy to see it full house when he walks out to bat on day one. You will love the atmosphere at the Eden so come and watch,” Ganguly said while unveiling the official pink Test mascots — Pinku-Tinku — at Eden Gardens.
“You can’t have greats of the Indian cricket play in front of empty stands and here you will have full house for the first three days,” he said.