Smith & Warner’s return won’t worry Indian pacers, says Gambhir

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has backed BCCI President Sourav Ganguly to put forward his candidature for the post of ICC Chairman, saying it will be good for the country to have their representation in the top management of the International Cricket Council.

On July 1, Shashank Manohar stepped down from the post of ICC chairman after twin two-year tenures at the helm. Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja has assumed the responsibilities of the chairperson until a successor is elected.

“I am not privy to what Sourav Ganguly is thinking. But yes, it will be good if India can have their representation in the top management of the ICC,” Gambhir told IANS.

“India deserves democratic representation in the ICC,” he stressed.

CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith has also supported Ganguly to take over as ICC Chairman.

The 38-year-old also backed the Indian team to defend the Border-Gavaskar Trophy when they travel for the proposed four-match Test series Down Under beginning December 3.

Virat Kohli’s side in the 2018/19 serie became the first Indian side to beat Australia in a Test series in their own den. The series featured stellar performances from batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant and Kohli and the fast bowling battery featuring Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.

But that series saw both Steve Smith and David Warner missing out as they were serving a ban for their involvement in the Sandpaper Gate. This time round, they are expected to be a part of a strong batting line-up. But Gambhir believes that the Indian pacers will still pose a threat.

“India has the fast bowlers to challenge any team in any conditions. I am sure with success on the last tour of Australia in the bag, if we go to Australia we will be serious challengers to the hosts,” said Gambhir.

Gambhir also expressed his opinion on the Men’s T20 World Cup, which is in doubts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ICC has not yet made any decision on the tournament, currently slated to be held in October-November in Australia.

“Look these are not easy decisions to make. It has to be a well thought out call. I am sure ICC will clarify their stand sooner than later. It is important that they take everyone else in confidence,” said Gambhir.

Cricket in India has been on a standstill since mid-March and Gambhir believes the sport would resume in the country only when situation gets better. More than 9 lakh cases have been reported so far in the country while over 24000 people have lost their lives to the deadly disease.

“Personally speaking whenever the time is right, cricket in India will resume,” said the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup winner.

“Well, it depends on multiple factors. I am absolutely confident that BCCI will take a calculated call on this.

“No one is in a hurry as human lives are far more important. At the same time some bit of cricket will immensely help in uplifting the mood of the nation. So it is a delicate decision…a bit of catch 22,” he added.