Shantha Rangaswamy, a senior BCCI Council member has written to all the BCCI board members and authorities suggesting a pink-ball domestic event ahead of the Australia tour. India Women will be playing their first-ever pink-ball Test against Australia from September 30 in Perth.
Former Indian captain Shantha Rangaswamy wants BCCI to compensate for the loss of the games that were not played due to the pandemic and increase the no. of matches. She stressed the need for the pink-ball competition. She also wants BCCI to start India A international tours once the COVID-19 situation is under control and stressed how doing this will improve the bench strength.
‘We have received her suggestions. We will have a look at how best they can be implemented,’ a senior BCCI official told PTI.
One of the main reasons for her suggesting the domestic pink-ball competition was the Indian men’s team’s performance against Australia in their last day-night test match. Aussie bowled out the men in blue for just 36 runs and India faced a disappointing loss. To avoid such situations, Rangaswamy suggests the domestic tournament to take place.
“Thanks to BCCI’s efforts, Test cricket has been revived with Indian women having played England recently,” she wrote referring to India’s first Test in almost seven years in which the team made a valiant fightback to eke out a dramatic draw.
India will play against Australia in the Test format for the first time in 15 years. India will be visiting Australia for a one-off Test, 3 One-Day Internationals, and 3 T20 Internationals. Since India will play only one test, Rangaswamy feels that the domestic tournament is even more important.
“As we (BCCI) had stopped multi-day domestic cricket since 2018, our women’s team had virtually not played even red-ball cricket. It is to the credit of the women’s team that they have eked out an honorable 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,” she further added.
She suggested two-day games involving four teams to prepare for the challenge Down Under that can be played during the month of August, a free window for the female cricketers.
“I suggest that 4 Teams of at least 13 players be picked and they play each other in two-day games to familiarise themselves. The President (Sourav Ganguly) spoke of the time constraint given the 14-day quarantine in Australia. 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,” she wrote.
‘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 victoriously. But since it is a One-Off Test, this suggestion may be accepted/implemented,’ she added.
BCCI has formed a committee to work on the compensation packages for the Ranji Trophy players because the tournament was canceled last year due to the pandemic, Rangaswamy wants some similar kind of compensation for female cricketers.
“I reiterate my request to similarly compensate the women cricketers for the matches not held.”
On the need for A tours, she added: “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.”