Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly wants the India-England Test series to be completed as it could potentially be India's first Test series win in the country since 2007. He said the BCCI would ideally want the rescheduled Test to be the fifth Test rather than a stand-alone one-off match.
In an interview with PTI, Sourav Ganguly spoke about the fate of the cancelled Old Trafford Test and the implications it might have on the result of the series.
Since Friday, former English cricketers and the English media have been blaming the BCCI and Indian cricketers for prioritizing the IPL over Test cricket. Ganguly rubbished these accusations and emphasized the importance the BCCI gives to the longest format of the sport.
"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."
Ganguly added that the BCCI are ready to have an extra ODI or T20I staged if needed.
"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. There is precedence of series being cancelled because of COVID-19 in the past 18 months. The BCCI cancelled its home series against South Africa last year, which cost us around 40 to 50 million pounds."
The BCCI president made it clear that player safety was of paramount importance in such a scenario.
"We are extremely disappointed that this series had to be called off. The only reason is COVID-19 outbreak and player's safety. We could only push them to a point. But the pandemic is so severe that one can only go that much distance."
Team India did compete at a high level throughout the series and gave their best in all the matches.
I am going to London soon, we will figure out something: Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly then revealed that he would be going to London soon, so he hoped that the BCCI and ECB would agree on common ground.
"Even the Test match was called off amicably. I am going there, and let's see. We will figure out something."
When asked if there was any chance of Team India playing with a fresh set of players in last week's Manchester Test, Ganguly replied:
"No, that wasn't an option. If you see the Yogesh Parmar (the junior physio who tested positive just before the match) was a close contact of every player. So obviously that was a cause of worry. It was something nobody had any control on and they (the players) had families traveling with them."
Team India will visit England next year for ODI and T20I series. It is now widely believed that both cricket boards might schedule the postponed Test match during that tour.