Sourav Ganguly And BCCI Face Heat Over Venue Allocation For India-England Series

Sourav Ganguly And BCCI Face Heat Over Venue Allocation For India-England Series

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI
Sourav Ganguly. Photo Credit: BCCI

BCCI’s decision to host the entire India-England series at just three venues has made the state associations disappointed. Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune will host the entire 12 games across formats between the two countries.

Chennai and Ahmedabad will play hosts for India’s upcoming four-Test series against England. The first two Tests will be played in Chennai (February 5-9 and February 13-17).The newly refurbished Motera stadium will then host the next two matches, including the day-night Test from February 24.

Joe Root, Virat Kohli
Joe Root, Virat Kohli (Credits: ECB)

Ahmedabad will also host the five-match T20I series between March 12 and 20, right after the Test leg of the tour. The three-match ODI series, on the other hand, will take place entirely in Pune. And this has miffed the other state associations.  Some aggrieved cricket administrators in the state associations are also linking it to this month’s elections of the Indian cricket board.

According to a report in CricketNext, even BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s home state, Bengal, has questioned him on why it wasn’t allotted any of the 12 matches that will be played in February-March. Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) are ‘shocked’ over the decision too.

While Cricket Association Bengal (CAB) president Avishek Dalmiya said he has asked Ganguly directly, MCA executive committee member Nadeem Memon, speaking on behalf of panel colleagues, has requested MCA president Vijay Patil to let them know “the reasons” for Mumbai not getting a single match. Memon also referred to Ganguly’s comments in September when he had said Kolkata and Mumbai are likely to host the Tests.

Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly at the Eden Gardens (Credits: ESPNCricinfo)

“We also have the same facility [bio-secure bubble] in Mumbai – Cricket Club of India [Brabourne Stadium], Wankhede [Stadium], and D.Y. Patil [Stadium]. We also have Eden Gardens [Kolkata]. 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 had said.

Dalmiya, son of late Jagmohan Dalmiya and a friend of Ganguly, told him that CAB was “expecting” to hold a match in Kolkata. Dalmiya also said that he has been assured by Ganguly that CAB would get a turn in the next home series.

“CAB was expecting a match against England, especially since the last ODI match, which was scheduled to be played in Kolkata got cancelled,” said Dalmiya in a statement, referring to the ODI against South Africa in March that was cancelled to Covid.”In this context, I did have a word with the BCCI president, Mr. Sourav Ganguly, and enquired if Kolkata could be accommodated, to which Mr Ganguly informed that these are unprecedented times and that BCCI had to settle with a maximum of three venues this time due to ongoing pandemic,” Dalmiya was quoted as saying by the news outlet.

.”India is scheduled to host ODIs and T20s against South Africa as well as T20 matches against New Zealand as per the revised Future Tour Programme post-Covid, ahead of ICC World T20 in 2021 [in India],” he added.

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