Sourav’s idea gets support
Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Kevin Roberts has termed Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly’s idea of a four-nation “ODI Super Series” as “innovative” but stopped short of giving any commitment.
Sourav had said India would lock horns with England, Australia and one other top cricketing side in an annual ODI series starting 2021.
The move is seen as a counter to prevent ICC from implementing their plan of having a global event organised by the international body in every calendar year.
After a recent meeting with Sourav in London, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it was open to discussions on the matter.
“I think it’s an example of the innovative thinking coming out of the BCCI with Sourav Ganguly as president,” Roberts said. “In his very short time, only a couple of months, we have already seen India commit to and host a day-night Test in Calcutta, so a brilliant result there. And now a suggestion around the Super Series, another potential innovation,” he added.
The CA CEO said he would be visiting India and Bangladesh next month to talk about the future cricket calendar. He also said he had discussions with New Zealand and Pakistan.
Roberts sought to assuage feelings of other Boards, saying that all other nations should also be given opportunities for quality cricket and chances to raise revenue.
“We’re really respectful of the importance of our international cricket relationships and our role as a leader in world cricket in supporting the development of cricket in other countries.
“We’re looking forward to hosting Afghanistan next year and that is an example of our commitment to world cricket. We have discussions with all member nations of the ICC and take really seriously our role to partner them and working together with them to grow the game around the world.
“Cricket is more or less a religion in the subcontinent. It’s absolutely the favourite sport in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We’ve got to try and make sure we see the game emerging in countries all around the world.”
He said a crowd of more than 80,000 turning up on the Boxing Day at the MCG would help ensure that the fixture between the Trans-Tasman neighbours would become a far more regular occurrence.
He also stated that the MCG would keep the Boxing Day Test for the foreseeable future, as CA negotiates a new stadium deal with the Melbourne Cricket Club.
“We really value the partnership with New Zealand. We are already having some high-level discussions around the cricket calendar from 2023 to 2031 and we hope and look forward to hosting New Zealand at a Boxing Day Test well before another 32 years pass.
“Given the importance of the MCG Test to world cricket, I would like to think it will remain here in perpetuity. There is a bit of work to be done on that front. But you would have to say it is best for world cricket to have a Boxing Day Test in Melbourne for years to come.”