BCCI confirms India and England’s pink-ball Test “sold out”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly announced that all tickets for the pink ball Day/Night Test between India and England in Ahmedabad and T20s that follow have been “sold out” as the Board prepare for the return of spectators in IPL 2021. The pink ball Test is slated to commence at the Motera, the the world’s biggest cricket stadium, in Ahmedabad from February 24.
“Ahmedabad is completely sold out. Happy to see normalcy back,” Ganguly told a news outlet in an interview. “I spoke to Jay Shah and he’s very keen on these Test matches. Just for him also cricket is coming back to Ahmedabad after six-seven years because they built the new stadium.” Both India and England head into the pink-ball Test ahead of IPL 2021 schedule with the four-match series level at 1-1.
The Test will be the second time India host a Day/Night Test, with the first Test played in Kolkata against Bangladesh in 2019. “I have told him we have set an example with pink-ball Test last year 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, as well as for the T20s which will follow the Tests,” Ganguly added.
This Test also marks the return of spectators for an international match in India following the outbreak of COVID-19, which forced domestic and international games, including last year’s IPL, to be played behind closed doors or outside the country. The BCCI is also discussing the potential plans to allow spectators in the upcoming edition of IPL, which is slated to begin in the second week of April.
“This year is going to be big as well because of what it is. We’ll see whether we can get the crowd back into the IPL, it’s a decision we’ll have to take very shortly. But it’s going to be another great tournament,” Ganguly added. The venues and dates for IPL 2021 are however yet to be announced by BCCI as they still discuss several plans to ensure safety of the players and spectators.
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Before the tournament, a mini-auction will be held in Chennai on February 18 and it will see 292 players going under the hammer. But, Ganguly revealed that it will not be big event. “It is not a big auction but a lot of teams will have a lot to fill. Specially Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super King’s will have a lot of work to do in the auction.”
When asked about his condition, Ganguly, who underwent two rounds of angioplasty last month, said he is feeling “fit and fine” and is back at work. Earlier, the BCCI has been vocally confident of staging tournament at home in April-May window and are also sure that fans will be allowed in the stadium.
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