The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has ended its resistance to the concept of day-night Test matches with the announcement that Kolkata’s Eden Gardens will stage the country’s first such game.

Australia and New Zealand competed in the first day-night Test at Adelaide Oval back in November 2015. The concept was introduced as a means to drive larger crowds to Test matches, with the later start times and play stretching into the evening seen as a more attractive option.

Up to this point, India and Bangladesh were the only remaining full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), aside from newcomers Ireland and Afghanistan, to have yet to play a day-night Test. However, the BCCI and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have now agreed that the second Test of the latter’s tour to India, scheduled to commence on November 22, will now be a day-night game.

The announcement marks the first major move by the BCCI under newly-elected president, former national team star Sourav Ganguly. Attendances for Test matches in India have suffered in the face of greater interest from fans in limited overs cricket, but Ganguly, along with current India captain Virat Kohli, is determined to inject fresh impetus into the most historic format of the sport.

Gangulysaid:“This is the beginning of something special in Indian cricket. It is a priority for the newly elected office bearers and members of Apex Council to take Indian cricket forward. For me, as former captain of India and as the current president of BCCI, Test cricket is of utmost priority and we at BCCI will leave no stone unturned to bring this format back to its feet.

“In this effort of ours, day-night Test cricket is a huge step forward and we believe it will bring back the crowds into stadiums and a whole lot of young children to the sport.”

Jay Shah, BCCI secretary, added: “Sourav, myself and our team had an idea of revolutionising Test cricket and this is our first step towards it. It was very important to start the process now since India does not play a lot of Test matches after the Bangladesh series. We thank the Bangladesh Cricket Board for accepting our request for a day-night Test match on such a short notice.”

Eden Gardens is operated by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), whose secretary, Avishek Dalmiya, said plans are in place to ensure strong attendances at the 68,000-capacity stadium. “One can expect an early start than the usual day/night (limited overs) encounters,” he told the Press Trust of India news agency.

“It will not be a 2.30pm start. A 1.30pm start would mean the match would be over by 8.30pm and the spectators will return home early.”

In terms of a ticketing strategy for the match, Dalmiya added: “We are planning to bring in school children from the districts and local schools and we don’t want any inconvenience. Ticket denominations will be of Rs 50 (£0.55/€0.63/$0.70), Rs 100, Rs 150 on a daily basis. We will try our best to pull in as big a crowd as possible. We hope it will be a success.”

Image: Kolkata Knight Riders