Kolkata: It’s still not quite business as usual for Sourav Ganguly, but the Indian cricket board president made his first public appearance after his twin angioplasty on Tuesday at a religious function of his family. He is also scheduled to attend the pink ball day-and-night Test between India and England in Ahmedabad from February 24.
‘‘I will be attending the third Test, which is completely sold out. The Covid scenario has certainly improved now and the vaccine is also out,” Ganguly said in an informal chat with a few members of the local electronic media who had assembled at the function at his wife Dona Ganguly’s dancing school.
A believer in day-night Tests, the former Indian skipper confirmed that a pink ball Test will be a permanent fixture in every home series going forward. “Absolutely, one pink-ball Test in a series is ideal. Every generation goes through changes, pink ball is one of the main changes for Test cricket, to keep it alive. I think, with a packed Ahmedabad stadium, the next week will be another great sight for everyone,” Ganguly said in an interview with the official broadcasters of BCCI earlier.
The new-look Motera Stadium, which boasts of a capacity of 110,000 to make it world’s ‘largest’ cricket stadium (it’s believed to be 10,000 more than the Melbourne Cricket Ground), will be the hub of action for next one month as it will host the remaining two Tests and the entire five-match T20 series between India and England. The authorities will be allowing 50 per cent supporters as per protocol in these matches, while Ganguly said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also needs to take a call on allowing fans during the upcoming Indian Premier League.
This will be the second day-night Test in India, the first one being the India versus Bangladesh fixture at the Eden Gardens in 2019. “I have told Jay Shah (secretary) that we have set an example with the pink-ball Test last time in Kolkata, so it cannot go beyond that and we want to see every seat and stand full. And that’s what it is, the tickets have gone for the T20 matches which will follow the Tests as well,” Ganguly claimed.
The second Test between India and England in Chennai marked the return of spectators for an international match in India after the COVID-19 outbreak forced a complete shutdown of sporting activities in March last year. The BCCI is also contemplating allowing spectators during the IPL, which is slated to begin in the second week of April.
Asked how is he doing after the two rounds of angioplasty last month, Ganguly said he is feeling fit and fine. “I’m feeling absolutely fine. I have started going to my office also,’’ said the ‘Dada’ of Indian cricket.