BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has only a 10 month term in office but he is determined to bring about some significant changes not just to Indian cricket but also to international cricket before his time is over—the ODI Super Series is one of them.
Ganguly recently announced that he was looking to put together an ODI Super Series that will feature four teams. Three teams—India, Australia and England—have already been confirmed. A fourth team which is yet to be named. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has not given its approval so far to the Super Series concept. However, it is quite likely that the big four could pull this one off by imposing pressure on the ICC.
ODI Super Series
Ganguly wants the first edition of the Super Series to take place in 2021. That is when India will be hosting the T20 World Cup. India is also expected to host the inaugural Super Series which is expected to boost the image of ODI cricket.
The BCCI president confirmed that he held talks with England Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA). Both boards are in favour of the Super Series. The plan is to get a fourth nation on board which could very well be South Africa. Nothing has been confirmed for now.
The ICC has only permitted tri-series in the past where three nations can face each other in a series. Australia has had a habit of hosting tri-series at the start of each year but has now done away with that concept. Ganguly’s Super Series proposal goes against the rules of the ICC which does not allow more than three teams to play in a series.
CA Backs ODI Super Series
Kevin Roberts, CEO of Cricket Australia came out and supported the ODI Super Series concept. He went on to say that Ganguly had brought about a lot of innovation in his short time as BCCI President. India quickly agreed to a day-night test in 2019 and are now pushing for a 4 team Super Series.
However, there is still a lot of work to be done before the Super Series is approved. Ganguly said he thought about a Super Series as fans want to see a competitive series between the best teams. He admitted there were a lot of challenges in the way. The first was getting approval from the ICC. Getting clearance from television broadcasters is another hurdle as is fitting it into a jam-packed schedule.
South African Captain Not Impressed
The fact that only the top four nations will be involved is bound to make other boards and players upset. South African captain Faf du Plessis is one of those players who is not impressed.
While there is a strong possibility that South Africa could be the fourth nation involved in the Super Series, Du Plessis has come out and said that it is better to get more nations involved than to restrict it to just four countries. The South African captain said that if you wanted to grow the game and increase its popularity throughout the world, the idea is to get more teams playing and not restricting it to the big three or four cricketing nations.
Ganguly Should Get His Way
Given the fact that the BCCI is the richest cricketing board in the world, Ganguly will be able to exert a lot of pressure on the ICC. He should be able to get approval for the ODI Super Series especially since the ACB and ECB have already backed the idea!