Bangladesh are scheduled to tour India for a one-off Test series © AFP
Bangladesh are scheduled to tour India for a one-off Test series © AFP

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has named Eden Gardens, Kolkata as standby in case Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) is unable to host the one-off Test between India and Bangladesh. The one-match series is slated to be played from February 8-12. HCA is also facing crisis like most of the other associations and is currently in the process of amending its constitution as per the Justice RM Lodha panel’s guidelines. HCA secretary K John Manoj, however, stated quite categorically that his association is going ahead with the preparations to host the Test match that would be Bangladesh’s first match in longer format on Indian soil. According to Manoj, the HCA has finalised tenders for the in-stadia rights and BCCI curator PR Vishwanath is scheduled to arrive in Hyderabad on Monday to start preparing the pitch for the five-day contest.

“It is unfortunate that such rumours are being floated. There is no truth in it. This is being done only to malign the HCA. We are going ahead with all the preparations for the successful conduct of the Test. It’s a matter of pride for us that we are hosting this historic Test,” Manoj was quoted by Times of India. The HCA will, of course be banking on funds from BCCI to meet a big chunk of the expenses. The BCCI, on its part, will again have to approach the Lodha panel to help release funds for meeting the expenses. With the administration in the BCCI as well as all its state units in a state of partial paralysis following the automatic disqualification of their top office-bearers in wake of the Supreme Court order, there is considerable uncertainty over the hosting the match.

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As of now, Eden Gardens will be the next option, if Hyderabad crumbles in the run-up to the Test match. It is interesting to note that Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was keen to play the Test in Kolkata in the first place, as it was like their second home. It was expected that crowd support will be immaculate for the visitors but the match was allotted to Hyderabad, keeping in mind with BCCI’s rotation policy.

A final picture will emerge only after the new three-member committee is constituted on January 19 to run BCCI affairs till the Lodha panel recommendations are implemented and elections held, both at the state as well as the board levels.

Bangladesh have never played a Test in India despite hosting India for their first-ever Test in Dhaka in 2000.