BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has said that the idea behind having a four-nation ODI — which involves Australia, England, and one other team — is to have a “good, competitive tournament”.
“It’s a proposal. Let’s see where it goes. The reason behind it is only to have a good, competitive tournament,” Ganguly told Hindustan Times.
Giving an example of the ongoing Test between Australia and New Zealand which saw a record crowd on the Boxing Day at the MCG, he said: “People want to see a high-class tournament and we are attempting to do it.”
However, he made it clear that for the tournament to happen from 2021, they will have to overcome a lot of hurdles.
“We will have to get clearances from the broadcasters and ICC for a four-nation tournament. Then, there are the Future Tours Programme (FTP) areas to look at, as to where do we fit it within the FTP,” the BCCI chief said.
“But it’s just a way to create a niche tournament. We are looking for quality cricket. What we see today, is only bilaterals happening,” he added.
Ganguly’s idea of a Super ODI Series has been hailed by both Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). But former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif believes the proposal will be a “flop” one just like the “Big Three Model”.
“By playing such a series, these four countries want to isolate the other member nations which are not good news. But I think this will be a flop idea like the Big Three model, which was introduced a few years back,” Latif has said.
Responding to the criticism, Ganguly said the tournament is not meant only to benefit “The Big Three”. “There will be a fourth team as well. We have to just fit this tournament in the gap, which is the biggest challenge. The agenda just is a high-class tournament with very powerful teams put together.”
“Very rarely do you get to see India, Australia, England, and South Africa or a New Zealand play a quadrangular tournament,” he added.
The BCCI chief also made it clear that the Indian players will have to go to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for post-injury rehabilitation. Ganguly’s comments came after his meeting with Head of Cricket at the NCA Rahul Dravid.
“I met Rahul Dravid yesterday, and we have put a system in place. The bowlers will have to go to the NCA. If anybody (else) has to treat them, they will have to come to NCA,” Ganguly said.
“Whatever may be the reason, we will accommodate everything. We will also make sure the players are comfortable and they don’t feel left out or out of place. So, we will do it that way.”
“We are going full throttle with the NCA. Construction work will start (at the new land) and it will be a state-of-the-art unit. In 18 months’ time, if we are still there, you will see an NCA that will be spick and span.”