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India vs Bangladesh | Eden Gardens to Host India's First Day-Night Test, Bangladesh Give Nod to Ganguly's Initiative

The development means India are set to host, and play, their first ever pink-ball Test.

Cricketnext Staff |October 29, 2019, 7:21 PM IST
India vs Bangladesh | Eden Gardens to Host India's First Day-Night Test, Bangladesh Give Nod to Ganguly's Initiative

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has agreed to India's proposal to play a day-night Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata during the upcoming two-match series.

The game, starting on November 22, will be the first day-night Test for both teams and second of the series.

“It’s a good development. Test cricket needs this push. Me and my team were bent on it and thanks to Virat (Kohli) also, he agreed,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly told PTI.

The initiative was taken by Ganguly soon after he took charge, after India captain Kohli's agreement. Bangladesh reserved their decision, with the board consulting the players and team management before arriving at the decision.

Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo said it was a 'great opportunity'.

"As the coach and some of the players and all the other senior players, we think that it's a great opportunity," Domingo said. "I don't think India have played a pink-ball Test before. We haven't played a pink-ball Test. It's a massive occasion at the Eden Gardens.

"It will be a new experience for both the teams. So we are very excited about it. It will be a great occasion under the lights against one of the best team in the world, probably the best team in the world also. So we are really looking forward to the challenge."

The first day-night Test took place in 2015 between Australia and New Zealand. Pakistan, West Indies, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and even Zimbabwe tryied out the concept over the next four years, while India resisted.

India received an offer to play the Adelaide Test under lights during the Australia tour late last year, but they declined the proposal citing lack of practice. India had trialed the concept in the Duleep trophies of 2016, 2017 and 2018 before reverting to red ball this year.

There have been concerns over absence of spin and reverse swing, which have been shared by the Bangladesh counterparts too.

"I have spoken to the players. For sure there have been some concerns," Domingo said. "Some guys said it will be just a few days of preparations. There is only two days between first and second Test. In my time with South Africa, we played a pink-ball Test in Adelaide with Australia. We had a warm-up game before. We had few sessions. So it will be a less time to start. Hopefully it may work for advantage for us. I have worked with pink-ball and hope it will be an advantage for us.

"There is a travel day and two practice days. And that's all at the moment. During our preparation there will be some pink-ball preparation. But our focus will be first Test first. Once that is completed, we will prepare for the pink-balls. There are some challenges but it is same for India. They haven't played a day-night Test match. So it will be same for both the teams, not a lot preparation time but an exciting event. Because of the pink-ball, it may help both the teams little bit close together and we are excited about the opportunity," he added.

Interestingly, it was Ganguly who was instrumental in organising the first ever pink ball match in India: Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Super League final between Mohun Bagan and Bhowanipore under lights in June, 2016. Ganguly headed the CAB at the time.

Two players, who played that match -- Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammed Shami -- are expected to play the first ever pink Test.

Just like Cricket Australia’s annual ‘Pink Test’ (players wear Pink caps) in association with the Jane McGrath Foundation to raise awareness about breast cancer, Ganguly wants the Eden Gardens’ Day-night Test to be an “annual affair”.

"It's just my job, that's what I'm here for. Because I've played this game for so long. I think it's a great move for Test cricket and hopefully it will bring crowds back to the ground," he said.

Bangladesh's tour of India starts with the first of three T20Is on Sunday in Delhi. The first Test begins in Indore on November 14.

(With PTI inputs)

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