Reports suggest that Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President Sourav Ganguly has pushed the idea of India hosting a Day-Night Test at the BCCI's SGM in Delhi on Monday. Ticket sales for Test matches have plummeted in India over the last few years and Ganguly sees it as a possible solution.
While India has been a hotbed for cricket for more than two decades now, there has been a steady decline in the viewership numbers of Test cricket in the same period. While this could be attributed to the introduction of T20 cricket and the sheer amount of the sport that is available for the consumption of the fans, it is the diminished viewership at venues during Test matches that causes a big concern for the state boards
In the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka, CAB could only collect a mere Rs. 42 lakh, over five days of action, as gate money. While this number might not be a true reflection of the interest in the longest formats by the fans, due to the rain-affected nature of the Test, the Rs. 49 lakh from ticket sales in Nagpur do paint a bleak picture. The Ferozeshah Kotla, that hosted the final Test, fared much better due to the performance of Virat Kohli with the bat and with nearly Rs. one crore added a sense of respectability to the revenues.
In comparison, a single day of action in ODIs and T20 matches earn the local boards anything between Rs. 4 to 6 crore.
The TOI report stated that a source had revealed that several members in BCCI’s general body sided with Ganguly on the idea of hosting a Day-Night Test but the lack of clarity from the team management had resulted in the delay. While India
"Ganguly wants to ensure that Test matches at home get more fans and that is why he is advocating day-night Test," a BCCI SGM member told TOI.
"Generally, Tests are allotted to different venues three months before the series. It should be done at least a year in advance to ensure that the state bodies prepare well for the match."
A few board members also told TOI that Cricket Australia had put in a formal request to the BCCI for India to take part in their first Day-Night Test when the Men in Blue travel to Australia later next year.