Hold pink-ball domestic tournament before Australia tour: Rangaswamy writes to BCCI
Shantha Rangaswamy © The Hindu
India are set to play their first-ever pink-ball Test match in September against Australia. It will be played at the WACA in Perth, it was announced in May. Shantha Rangaswamy, former India cricketer and Apex Council member, has called for more pink ball games for the women in the domestic circuit, ahead of that clash. She wrote in her letter to the BCCI that it is imperative do to so because the women haven’t played the multi-format series at all since 2018.
“Thanks to BCCI's efforts, Test cricket has been revived with Indian women having played England recently. As we (BCCI) had stopped multi-day domestic cricket since 2018, our women's team had virtually not played even red ball cricket,” wrote Rangaswamy in the letter that was accessed by PTI.
“It is to the credit of the women's team that they have eked out a honourable draw despite all odds in the recently concluded Test against England.”
“Given the above background, playing under lights at the WACA in Perth will be a tougher task. They need to play under lights with the pink ball before they embark on the tour of Australia.”
While Australia played a pink-ball Test in 2017, India returned to Test cricket with the game against England in Bristol after close to seven years.
“I suggest that four teams of at least 13 players be picked and they play each other in two-day games to familiarise themselves” wrote Rangasamy. “The President (Sourav Ganguly) spoke of the time constraint given the 14-day quarantine in Australia.”
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“But to ward off a one-sided Test against Australia, there is a dire need to make them play as suggested above. Since the IPL Women's Challenge itself is in jeopardy given the time constraint, I appeal to all of you to schedule the above to make the women's team adapt to the pink ball.”
Melanie Jones, former Australian cricketer and now a broadcaster, had &feature=youtu.be">spoken of day/night Tests being important for the visibility of the game. Rangaswamy and Edulji had called for having multi-day games even earlier. But this time, Rangaswamy also cited the case of the men’s team which was bowled out for 36 in the second innings of the pink-ball Test in Adelaide late last year.
“As I mentioned during the (Apex Council meeting on June 20), our men's team too struggled in the Pink Ball Test in Australia last time they played but they could erase that memory as they played more Tests and emerged victorious. But since it is a one-off Test, this suggestion may be accepted/implemented.”
The former India captain also stressed on the need for more A tours for the women.
'There is a need to increase the India 'A' tours for women. I request you to consider such a tour against teams like Sri Lanka/Bangladesh when our senior women go over to Australia. This is the only way the bench strength can be increased,” she wrote.
“Please consider the above favourably. I have utmost faith in this Council's good intentions to take women's cricket forward.”
On their part, the BCCI acknowledged receiving the letter and would look at implementing the suggestions, the PTI reported.