Sourav Ganguly has never been a stranger to controversies. Recently, he had to go through another when his fellow commentator Ravi Shastri publicly alleged that he was disappointed not to see Sourav present when the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) interviewed him for the India coach’s post which ultimately went to Anil Kumble. As expected, Ganguly reacted with his razor-tooth reply and even advised Shastri not to go on a holiday when interview for Indian cricket team’s coaching was being held.
Speaking about day-night Tests, he believes cricket can do with a little bit of innovation and therefore day-night Tests should be played more often. Not only that, according to him pink-ball cricket is the way forward for Test matches which are losing out on huge crowds. But he also pointed to the fact that quality cricket will bring in fans and spectators anywhere around the world.
On Thursday ahead of his 44th birthday, Sourav Ganguly spoke to Mid-day and here are the excerpts of that interview.
On his enthusiasm to organise a pink-ball inter-club fixture as Cricket Association of Bengal president:
I feel day-night Tests with the pink ball is the need of the hour. It can attract big crowds in Test cricket. That’s why I had to put my foot forward.
On the fear of night Tests not helping spinners because of the grass cover:
There is no hard and fast rule that the pink ball should be used only on grassy wickets. This is just the beginning. We should not jump to conclusions while the experiment is on.
On the decision by his BCCI technical committee to host Ranji Trophy matches on neutral venues:
This decision was taken by the BCCI president (Anurag Thakur). We (technical committee) discussed it. Host teams were preparing wickets to suit them. As a result, the visiting teams were facing a lot of disadvantages. In order to put an end to this, a new rule was introduced.
On Bishan Singh Bedi’s view that India should not play pink-ball Tests:
It’s his opinion. I do not want to comment.
On whether India is just following Australia in this regard:
To some extent, yes because the International Cricket Council too feels that Test cricket should have better crowds.
On the challenge of manufacturing a pink ball to last:
Kookaburra has already made a ball and I am sure with the passage of time Indian companies will make the pink ball easily. Since it is a new concept, the industry will take some time to adapt.
On the Ravi Shastri controversy:
Enough has been said. I do not wish to discuss anything further.
On whether the Cricket Advisory Committee offered the batting coach role to Ravi Shastri:
Yes, we offered Ravi the Indian team’s batting coach post.
On why did Anil Kumble not take a bowling coach to the West Indies:
It is Anil’s prerogative. Since he is a bowler, maybe, he did not appoint a bowling coach. I also have read in the newspapers that he may rope in pace bowling coach later. Let me stress that Sachin and Laxman have no role in appointing Anil’s assistant coaches.
On talk that Zaheer Khan may be appointed bowling coach:
I have no knowledge about this. BCCI will have to see whether Zaheer is available for 365 days or not.