The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Monday said that a proposed Test match between India and England should be considered as the fifth and deciding match of the series which will be considered as the fifth and deciding match of the series in the Indian camp due to Kovid-19. It was canceled after the cases were found.
He also ruled out the possibility of treating this match as a one-off Test.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) seeking the decision of the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) on the fate of the canceled match. The ICC has not yet given any reply in this matter. This match was to be played at Old Trafford in Manchester from 10 September.
“We want the series to be completed as it will be our first win (in England) in the series since 2007,” Ganguly told PTI in an exclusive interview.
He said, ‘BCCI believes that Test cricket is the real format and it will not be compromised under any circumstances.’
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India were leading the series 2-1 when the match was called off. The Indian team had refused to play after members of the support staff, including head coach Ravi Shastri, tested positive for COVID-19.
If the match is categorized as ‘lost’, it could cost the ECB a sum insured of £40 million. He has claimed that this will help him to recover the loss due to the cancellation of the match.
Asked if the BCCI has offered to play two extra T20 Internationals in lieu of Tests during the limited overs series in July next year, Ganguly said, “We are looking forward to playing extra ODIs and T20 Internationals.” And this is not the issue.’
“It’s just that the Test match that will be played later will be the fifth match of the series,” he said. If the ICC feels that the match could not be organized due to Kovid-19, then India will officially win the series 2-1. The cancellation of matches in this way is considered ‘acceptable’ under the World Test Championship’s rules related to Kovid.
Ganguly said, ‘In the last 18 months, due to Kovid-19, the priority was to cancel the series. The BCCI had canceled its home series against South Africa last year due to which we had to suffer a loss of four to five crores.
He also expressed the hope that in future there will be concrete ‘medical advice’ in such cases so that the series can be continued even if cases of Kovid are found within the team.
The former captain said, ‘Because we know how damaging it is for viewers and television viewers, especially when such an exciting series is being played. Test cricket is the first priority of BCCI.
Ganguly said that the BCCI was disappointed that the match could not be held but it could not put pressure on the worried players beyond a limit.
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He said, ‘We are extremely disappointed that this series has ended in the middle. The only reason for this was the outbreak of Kovid-19 and the safety of the players. We can force them only up to a limit. The pandemic is so bad that no one can go beyond a certain limit.’
Sourav Ganguly was asked whether senior players who felt uncomfortable in playing were considered for rest and fielding a new team, he replied in the negative. “No it was not an option as Yogesh Parmar (junior physio who tested positive before the match) had close contact with all the players,” he said.
So it was definitely a cause for concern, Ganguly said. This is something that no one has control over and the players had their families along with them.