Sourav Ganguly, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is hopeful of senior Test players Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane featuring in the Ranji Trophy and score lots of runs. In the 2-1 series loss to South Africa in January, Rahane and Pujara could score just one half-century in six innings, amassing only 136 and 135 runs in six innings.
With the duo under pressure to hold on to their spots in the Test side, the resumption of the Ranji Trophy comes at the right time ahead of the two Tests against Sri Lanka. “Yeah, they are very good players. Hopefully, they will go back to Ranji Trophy and score a lot of runs, which I am sure they will. I don’t see any problem (for them to go back to domestic cricket after playing so much international cricket),” Ganguly was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
“Ranji Trophy is a huge tournament, and we have all played the tournament. So, they, too, will go back there and perform. They have played the tournament in the past when they were only playing Test cricket and were not part of the ODI or limited-overs team. So, that won’t be a problem,” added Ganguly, the former India captain.
Ganguly admitted that it was a huge challenge to find a window for Ranji Trophy to happen in the 2021/22 season after the third wave forced its postponement from January 13. “Obviously, we missed one year of Ranji Trophy — the 2020-21 season. It is the most important tournament in India, and we always wanted to organise it. But what the world has seen in the last two years, I don’t think it has happened in anybody’s lifetime.”
“So keeping all these things in mind, it was actually a challenge to organise any tournament. We organised the Cooch Behar Trophy and there came the third wave. On the first day itself, 50 players contracted the virus. So, it is not easy. But we are lucky that we can still conduct tournaments. We still have our fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly.”
Ganguly also gave an update on when the Senior Women’s T20 League and the knockouts of the U19 Cooch Behar Trophy will happen. “We have time for the Cooch Behar Trophy. Let this Covid settle down a bit, we can hold it because it is just at the knockout stage and only a few matches are pending. We can do it in April-May. Similarly, with the women’s tournament, we will do it as well. We are presuming that in another month, the number of cases will go down and we can host it.”