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Exclusive: Sourav Ganguly Defends Rishabh Pant, Says Physically Impossible to Wear Mask All The Time

Sourav Ganguly with Rishabh Pant during IPL 2020 (BCCI Photo)

Sourav Ganguly with Rishabh Pant during IPL 2020 (BCCI Photo)

In an exclusive interview with News18, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly speaks on various topics ranging from T20 World Cup to Rishabh Pant testing positive for coronavirus.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly will be a busy man in the upcoming months. Not that he had some free-time but with the organisation of back-to-back high profile events that will see involvement of players from across the globe during coronvirus pandemic is quite a challenge. In mid of September, the second leg of IPL 2021 will resume in UAE and just a couple of days after it concludes, the T20 World Cup will get underway.

Even though the world cup has been shifted outside India, BCCI continues to be the official host and thus needs to ensure everything is in order well in advance.

News18 caught up with Ganguly for a quick chat,

Excerpts

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You went to UAE earlier (for IPL 2020) but Oman (for T20 World Cup qualifiers) is in the picture for the first time. Will you confer with ICC?

Yes. UAE, Oman, ICC, Emirates Cricket Board, with everyone.

India is the host country. Will the cricket grounds be rented?

The same system as the IPL. BCCI will be the host.

Besides World Cup, there is IPL too. Will there be discussions about IPL as well?

Yeah, absolutely.

India are going to play a long five-match Test series against England. They lost the ICC Test Championship final recently. As a former captain, what is your prediction?

It can’t be predicted. They (India) will play good cricket. Just one single match can’t decide whether they are bad or good. It’s a long series, so there will be chances for both the teams to equalise.

With Shubman Gill ruled out due to injury, who do you think will open for India during the Tests?

I don’t interfere in all these matters. Team Management will decide this.

Rishabh Pant has tested positive for Covid. This happened when the India squad was vacationing. Many of them were pictured roaming around without wearing masks. Do you think they should have been more careful?

We have seen Euro Championship and Wimbledon in England. Rules have changed (with crowd being allowed inside venues). They were on leave and it’s physically impossible to stay in the bio-bubble all the time.

Do you worry about them as Rishabh Pant is already positive?

No worries. They will be fine.

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first published:July 16, 2021, 07:01 IST