After much discussion and speculation, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), headed by Sourav Ganguly has agreed to play a day-night Test against Australia during their tour of the latter country later this year. Alongside this, the board also decided to host a day-night Test when England come calling in early 2021, at the Motera Stadium.
The proposal to have a day-night Test was put forward by Cricket Australia for India's last tour as well but at that time, probably because of lack of experience with this version of cricket, India had not agreed. Last year, during a press conference, Australia's Test captain Tim Paine had also expressed his skepticism about India agreeing to play a day-nighter on their tour.
But with the current regime of BCCI, with the energetic leadership of Ganguly, having very successfully organised India's first ever day-night Test at Eden Gardens, against Bangladesh, last year, and having seen India win that match comprehensively, seems very keen on promoting this new variety of the longest format of the game.
The decision to give the green signal to day-night Test in Australia came after a meeting of BCCI's Apex Council. Though the Australians sought to play two day-night Tests against India, the BCCI has agreed only for one. The reason for Cricket Australia's keenness on day-night Tests probably stems from their better timing for an Indian audience.
"It has been decided that Virat Kohli and the boys will play a Day-Night Test when they tour Australia at the end of the year. We did have a talk on the idea and it was felt that the request from Cricket Australia can definitely be honoured," news agency IANS quoted a BCCI official as saying.
Other important decision
Another important decision taken at the meeting of the Apex Council was to provide funding Rs 2 crore for the Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA). The setting up of a representative body for Indian cricketers has been a long-standing issue and the BCCI has dithered on it for a long time. Finally, things are coming to a pass.
"As of now the board has approved a budget of Rs 2 crore on an ad-hoc basis. Out of this, around Rs 50 lakh was already given to the ICA during elections and the initial setting up. So, a further Rs 1.5 lakh will be released now. But the ICA needs to make a fresh presentation after which the rest of the funds will be released," the same official again told IANS.