Bangladesh have agreed to India’s proposal that the second test of the forthcoming series between the two sides to be played in Kolkata should be a Day-Night affair. That was after the team management consulted with squad members and they agreed to the experiment, although they are still likely to be reeling from the international ban handed out to their captain Shakib-Al-Hasan on Tuesday.
Shakib was banned for two years from all forms of cricket, one of them suspended, after failing to report three illegal approaches by a bookmaker to the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit.
Bangladesh’s agreement means that this will be the first time that a Day-Night Test has been played in India.
It is no coincidence that the inauguration of the experiment comes barely a week after Sourav Ganguly took up his post as chairman of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). Ganguly has long been in favour of Day-Night matches, regarding them as one way to boost attendances for test cricket in India, which suffer in comparison with the crowds that one day internationals and T20 competitions attract, mainly because of their scheduling. And, after meeting with Ganguly last week, captain Virat Kohli has also been said to be agreeable to the idea.
All this represents something of an about turn by India, who have been previously hostile to the idea of Day-Night tests. Only last year, they turned down the opportunity to play a pink ball test in Adelaide in December, claiming that they needed a long time to practice playing in the different conditions that prevail during the day and evening sessions of a match.
Bangladesh too have previously held the same opinion, turning down a similar proposal from New Zealand to play a Day-Night test citing a lack of preparation.
Although the ICC sanctioned Day-Night matches as far back as 1979, It took 36 years before the first such game took place between Australia and New Zealand in November 2015. It is now common for one day internationals and T20is to be played under floodlights, mainly because they can attract fans who want to watch a few hours of cricket after finishing work.
The Bangladesh tour of India will feature three T20Is, beginning in Delhi on November 3rd. That will be followed with two Tests, beginning on November 14th in Indore, followed by Kolkata on November 22nd.