India to face Sri Lanka in Pink-Ball Test in Bengaluru, confirms Ganguly

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly on Thursday confirmed that the two-match Test series between India and Sri Lanka will iclude a pink-ball Test, which will be played in Bengaluru.

Notably, India is slated to host Sri Lanka for three T20Is and two Tests in late February and early March after the upcoming white-ball series against the West Indies concludes in Kolkata on February 20.

“Yes, the pink-ball Test will be happening in Bengaluru. We have not decided on all the venues for the Sri Lanka series yet, but it will be announced shortly,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

Notably, it will be just for the third time when India will host a pink-ball Test after playing against Bangladesh in Kolkata in November 2019 and against England in Ahmedabad in February 2021.

Moreover, after Virat Kohli had stepped down in Januray, the Sri Lanka Test series will also have a new captain for Team India.

Meanwhile, the BCCI chief also confirmed that the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held in India unless a spike in Covid-19 cases spoils the scenario. “It (IPL) will be held in India this year, until and unless Covid-19 hits the roof. As far as venues are concerned, we are looking at hosting the matches in Maharashtra — Mumbai, and Pune. We will take a call on the venues for the knockout stages later.”

Further, Ganguly said that the women’s T20 Challenge will be held this year in May. “The Women’s T20 Challenge will again be back this year in May. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to host a bigger women’s IPL once the number of women players (player pool) goes up. But this year, the Women’s T20 Challenge will happen during the IPL playoffs.”

Further speaking on the captaincy of Team India, Ganguly said it was for the selection committee to decide on the long-term captain options.

“Let’s leave that to the selectors. Whatever they decide on captaincy, we will go by that,” he expressed.

Team India is scheduled to be in action on February 6 when they take on West Indies in the first of three ODIs in the newly-built Narendra Modi stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad and the match on Sunday will also mark India’s 1000th appearance in the format.

As the ODI series will be held inside closed doors due to the current Covid-19 scenario prevalent in most part of the country, Ganguly expressed sadness over fans missing out on an iconic moment in India’s cricketing history.

“I was the captain of India in the 500th ODI (against England at the Riverside in Chester-le-Street on July 4, 2002). It is a big moment for Indian cricket, but unfortunately, the match will be played without a crowd. The series, too, will be played in empty stadiums. It could have been done in a much better way had there been no Covid-19, but you cannot help it. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we can’t really plan anything for this iconic fixture,” he added.

News Desk

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