‘We have tentatively decided to start domestic cricket from January 1, 2021’: BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly

Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) apex council had a virtual meeting on Saturday (October 17) with the start of the domestic season, Australia tour and hosting England for a full series being the main points of discussion.

After the meeting, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said they have decided to start the domestic season from January 1.

“We have had extensive discussions on domestic cricket and we have tentatively decided to start the competitions from January 1, 2021,” Ganguly told PTI.

The season is expected to start with the Ranji Trophy. According to one of the officials, who attended the meeting, domestic season could be stretched till June with most tournaments being conducted.

“Whatever cricket happens, will be by creating bio-secure bubbles. Many venues like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Puducherry, Mumbai having more than one stadiums are being looked at,” said the official.

When it comes to India’s upcoming tour of Australia, the BCCI is waiting for the final itinerary from Cricket Australia. As per a tentative schedule, the tour will start with a three-match ODI series from November 26 and the T20Is will be held from December 4. The Test series is slated to begin on December 17.

Test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari and the support staff led by head coach Ravi Shastri are likely to have a six-day quarantine in Dubai during the business end of the IPL before flying off to Australia.

Bearing in mind the safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI is likely to send an outsized squad to Australia, comprising 28 members across formats.

The selection committee is expected to meet soon to announce teams for all the formats.

As far as England’s scheduled trip to India is concerned – the BCCI is hopeful of hosting the series. While no decision has been taken yet, the tour is scheduled to begin in February.

“Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad are all due to host matches as per rotation. A call will be taken later, if all venues can host Test matches, whether it will be a full five test series. There is always the option of staging more than one Test in Ahmedabad, which has in-house stay facilities by creating a bubble,” said the official.

Hosting England in UAE is being seen as the last option.

(Inputs from Hindustan Times)

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