Kolkata: BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said Monday the board will do all it can to ensure that India’s home series against England remains in India. Sourav Ganguly is also hoping that the domestic tournaments start despite the ‘fluid’ COVID-19 situation in India. England are scheduled to tour India next year between January and March. They are scheduled to play five Tests, three ODIs and three T20 Internationals.
“…priority is to make this (series against England) happen in India. We will try to make this happen on Indian grounds. The advantage in UAE is they have three stadiums (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai). So the IPL could be played there,” Ganguly told reporters. He was interacting with mediapersons after being named brand ambassador of the Bengal Peerless group here
BCCI has recently signed a MoU with the Emirates Cricket Board for greater cooperation in conducting matches there.
“We also have the same facility in Mumbai – CCI, Wankhede and the DY Patil Stadium. We also have Eden Gardens. We have to create a bubble. We want to hold our cricket in India, that’s where the game is, that’s where the heart is,” Ganguly pointed out
“Everything is fluid. It’s been hard for the last six months to keep everything in order. You want your cricket to happen. You want lives to get back to normal, there are players involved. But you also want to have a close look at the COVID-19 added Ganguly.
Ganguly said BCCI would have started domestic cricket by now if the situation was normal. BCCI’s domestic schedule comprises of the Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, the U-23 CK Nayudu Trophy, Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy, and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In 2019-20 it hosted 2,036 domestic games across various age groups in the men’s and women’s category. However, Ganguly said creating a bio-bubble for so many teams across India will be next to impossible.
“We are monitoring it. We want to have our domestic season. We have all the combinations, situations ready in our mind. We will try and make it happen as much as we can,” he reiterated.
Ganguly was also asked about the lacklustre IPL form of recently-retired ex-captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He backed the iconic finisher to come good for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
“In the current situation, it will take some time for him to get back to his old touch. He is playing cricket after about 18 months. It’s not easy however good you are. It will take some time to get back to form,” Ganguly pointed out.
The former opener was also asked about a possible farewell match for Dhoni, who retired from international cricket last month. “I spoke to him on the day of his retirement. I could not during the IPL as we can’t reach them. They (players) are in a bubble,” he said. “I’ve not spoken to him on this. But Dhoni deserves everything for what he has achieved for India,” asserted the former Indian captain.