NEW DELHI: As expected, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday accepted the BCCI’s request to play a day-night Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Despite facing resistance from players and dealing with a range of issues, the BCB convinced the team on time to avoid rubbing the powerful BCCI the wrong way.
It was learnt that more than half the players were averse to the idea. Players’ strike, sponsorship row with Shakib Al Hasan and a two-year suspension handed to him by ICC for failing to report corrupt approaches complicated things for BCB.
“I’m pleased to announce that our long-term partner BCB has agreed to play a day-night Test. This is the beginning of something special in Indian cricket. For me, as a former captain of India and as the current president of BCCI, Test cricket is of utmost priority and we at BCCI will leave no stone unturned to bring this format back to its feet,” said BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.
“Day-night Test cricket is a huge step forward and we believe it will bring the crowd back to stadiums and a whole lot of young children to the sport,” he added.
“We have had a frank and constructive discussion with the players and team management. I have received a positive response about playing the day-night Test in view of the BCB-BCCI relationship,” BCB president Nazmul Hassan said.
The two-match series, which will start in Indore on November 14, will also be Bangladesh’s first under the ICC World Test Championship. The second Test, which will be played with the pink ball, will begin on November 22.
“The players and team management have agreed to play the day-night Test. They were given a day to decide and today they decided to give it a try,” BCB’s cricket operations chairman Akram Khan told this daily. The match will start at 2.30 pm and have tea and dinner breaks.
The Bangladesh team will reach New Delhi on Wednesday evening and play the first of three T20Is in the national capital on November 3. The remaining two T20Is will be played in Rajkot and Nagpur on November 7 and 10, respectively.
Left-hander Mominul Haque will lead the Test side in absence of Shakib while Mahmudullah Riyad will captain the T20I side.
Bangladesh’s South African coach Russell Domingo conceded in Dhaka that there are concerns about how the match will go but the team decided to explore new avenues. “It’s a great opportunity. I don’t think India has played a pink-ball Test before. It’s a massive occasion at Eden Gardens against one of the best teams in the world,” Domingo said.
“We are looking forward to that challenge. There are challenges as we will not have a lot of time to prepare but it’s same for India. So it will be same for both teams,” he added.