BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly said that India wants the proposed “standalone” Test against England to be treated as the fifth game of the series that was canceled last week and not a one-off game. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has written to the ICC seeking a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) verdict on deciding the fate of the canceled game that was to be played at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Describing the same in a recent interview with PTI, Sourav Ganguly said, “We want the series to be completed as this will be our first series win (in England) since 2007. The BCCI maintains that Test cricket is the ultimate format and we won’t compromise it for anything.”
Before the cancellation, India was leading the series 2-1 when the match was called off last week after the visiting players refused to step onto the field following positive COVID-19 cases among its support staff, including head coach Ravi Shastri.
Asked if BCCI has offered to play a couple of extra T20I when the team tours in July next Sourav Ganguly said: “We are ready to play extra ODI and T20Is and that’s not an issue. Just that the Test match that will be played later will be the fifth match of the series.”
If the ICC deems that the match was abandoned due to COVID-19, then India will be termed as the winner of the series by a 2-1 margin as such cancellation is considered an “acceptable non-compliance” under the World Test Championship rules.
Sourav Ganguly explained, “There is the precedence of series being canceled because of COVID-19 in the past 18 months. The BCCI canceled its home series against South Africa last year which cost us around 40 to 50 million pounds. Test cricket is BCCI’s foremost priority.”
He further added, “We are extremely disappointed that this series had to be called off. The only reason is the COVID-19 outbreak and players’ safety. If you see the Yogesh Parmar (the junior physio who tested positive just before the match) was a close contact of every player.”
ECB CEO Tom Harrison had also said that every effort was made to comfort the traveling players but the “perception of what might happen” made them fearful of playing.