The uncertainty over the day-night Test in Australia keeps on getting dragged.
Initially, the BCCI had planned to host the Windies is a pink-ball Test later this year. The board had taken the decision only after consulting the head coach, Ravi Shastri.
However, the plan hit a roadblock after Shastri changed his mind. The coach told the Committee of Administrators (CoA) that the team needs 12 to 18 months to prepare for pink-ball cricket.
Not surprisingly, the sudden u-turn from Shastri has left the BCCI office-bearers surprised. A senior BCCI official admitted Shastri’s change of mind was baffling, as he had given the board go ahead just three months back.
“It is curious to see that the Indian coach was ready to experiment with day-night cricket with the pink ball in India about three months back but now the same decision-making process makes him say that 12 to 18 months of practice would be required for the team.
There is no indication as to what the practice would be and what would be the logistics and time management surrounding that. One has to play pink – ball cricket to practice,” the official told CricketNext.
With Shastri making his decision clear, the BCCI had to cope quite a few verbal volleys from Cricket Australia.
CA were keen to host India in a day-night Test which is fast becoming an integral part of the Australian summer. However, with BCCI not ready, they had to drop the idea.
Furious with the turn of events, CA CEO, James Sutherland had gone on to claim India did not want to play pink-ball Test because of their desperation to win the series.
Meanwhile, Shastri had sent a letter to acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary in regards to playing day-night Test matches.
“As far as day-night cricket goes it can be tried out as an experiment with a game starting at 12 and where the dew will play. Again, against a team like the West Indies, it has to be played in a Tier-II city without a doubt. To get in the crowds, it doesn’t matter if it’s a day game or day-night game. What’s important is a Tier-II city,” he had written.
India is yet to play day-night Test. On the other hand, the other major nations – Australia, South Africa, England, New Zealand, Pakistan and the Windies – have got a taste of it.