Melbourne: Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts has termed BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s idea for a four-nation ‘ODI Super Series’ as ‘innovative’ but stopped short of giving any commitment.
Ganguly had said India will lock horns with England, Australia and one other top cricketing side in an annual ODI series starting 2021. The move is seen as a counter to prevent ICC from implementing their plan of having a global event organised by the international body in every calendar year.
After a recent meeting with Ganguly in London, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said it was open to discussions on the matter. “I think it’s an example of the innovative thinking coming out of the BCCI with Sourav Ganguly as president,” Roberts said. “In his very short time, only a couple of months, we have already seen India commit to and host a day-night Test in Kolkata, so a brilliant result there. And now a suggestion around the Super Series, another potential innovation,” he added.
The CA CEO said he will be in India next month and Bangladesh talking about the future cricket calendar. He also said he had discussions with New Zealand and Pakistan “talking about the importance of our future partnership”.
Roberts sought to assuage feelings of other Boards, saying that all other nations should also be given opportunities for quality cricket and chances to raise revenue. “We’re really respectful of the importance of our international cricket relationships and our role as a leader in world cricket in supporting the development of cricket in other countries. “We’re looking forward to hosting Afghanistan next year and that is an example of our commitment to world cricket. We have discussions with all member nations of the ICC and take really seriously our role to partner them and working together with them to grow the game around the world. ”
Cricket is more or less a religion on the sub-continent. It’s absolutely the favourite sport in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We’ve got to try and make sure we see the game emerging in countries all around the world.” He said that a crowd of more than 80,000 turning up on the Boxing Day at the MCG would help ensure that the fixture between the Trans-Tasman neighbours would become a far more regular occurrence.
He also stated that the MCG would keep the Boxing Day Test for the foreseeable future, as CA negotiates a new stadium deal with the Melbourne Cricket Club. “We really value the partnership with New Zealand. We are already having some high-level discussions around the cricket calendar from 2023 to 2031 and we absolutely hope and look forward to hosting New Zealand at a Boxing Day Test well before another 32 years pass,” Roberts said.
“They are a really important partner and nation in the world of cricket. The reality is there is only one venue in Australia that can host over 80,000 people on Boxing Day as the MCG did yesterday. It was just a picture. That’s something we are really grateful for and respect. The MCG Test is one of the two most iconic Tests on the planet, along with the Lord’s Test. “Given the importance of the MCG Test to world cricket, I would like to think it will remain here in perpetuity. There is a bit of work to be done on that front. But you would have to say it is best for world cricket to have a Boxing Day Test in Melbourne for years to come.”