Hyderabad: Test matches might be the ultimate 'test' for a cricketer but for organizers, it's always a blessing in disguise if the five-day game is replaced by an ODI believes former India spinner and current Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president Arshad Ayub.
Hyderabad were scheduled to host the Test match during the now-truncated West Indies series and the BCCI has compensated HCA with an ODI match against Sri Lanka.
"We were preparing for it (West Indies Test) but then it got cancelled and we got this match. So we got compensated for this match. Normally, Test match is a revenue loss but if you look at the ODI, it is a revenue gainer. So that way it was a gain rather than a loss," Ayub, who has played 13 Tests and 32 ODIs for India between 1987 and 1990 told PTI during an interaction.
With just a day left for the third ODI to kickstart, Ayub has re-affirmed that the HCA has done its bit to ensure that Uppal offers the best for the two teams and the audience.
"Our job is to make sure that they get the best of our facilities and we provide them that as per international standards. Basically, we want them to be happy in regards o the pitch and the ground conditions. The dressing-room facility and the practice arena, all this has been taken care," said the former of-break bowler.
One of the elite cricket grounds in India and Asia, Uppal once again promises a lively game.
Ayub, 56, though hinted that the track will offer more assistance to the bastman.
"Basically, it is a ODI match so it will certainly be a lively track. But having said that, an ODI pitch is one where the bastman has not much difficulty negotiating," he said.
Holding office for a second term post his 2010-12 tenure, Ayub is once again trying to get Hyderabad players noticed on the national scene.
"Now we are on the verge of a transition. Once I took over, I have introduced certain structural changes like the local league format. We are starting an academy and all these changes will certainly bring a change. We have got the potential, only thing is that the potential has to be converted into international performances.
"So that these players can get into Indian sides. We are really hoping that in a few years to come we will have more representation from Hyderabad," Ayub sounded positive.
Ayub, who made an impressive debut against the West Indies in November 1987, insists that former Hyderabad stars are doing their bit for cricket and VVS Laxman is very much invovled in the upliftment of the players from the city.
"Laxman is totally involved with us. He is working closely for the development of Hyderabad cricket and is certainly helping us out to improve the state of cricket,? said Ayub.
Having been in the thick of things during his three-year international career and 16 years of domestic cricket, Ayub understans the demands of players and insists that a cricket administrator is always better than a administrator wihtout a cricket or sporting backgorund.
"In my case, being a cricketer really helps me to structure the technical aspect and since I am also involved in the professional build-up, then it also helps me out to look after the administrative part of it. This is my second term after my first term ended in 2012.
"I then took a break and now when I have come back, I am just adding on. In between very little was done in the last two years. Mostly, I will be taking care of cricketing aspect because the cricket has gone down in Hyderabad to such a level that we cannot believe that. So it is my prerogative that I need to work hard on cricket and make sure that it improves at all levels."
With Hyderabad witnessing limited success at the Ranji Trophy level since their first win way back in 1986-87, Ayub said its time to improve the city's domestic structure and is sure to make a difference during his term in office.
"I think mainly because of the lack of domestic structutre. I think we were playing just 4 or 5 games in a season which was not making sense to anybody. So now you know, since we have come, we have already given them an extra fifteen matches in a period of just 60 days.
"Unless and until a player plays matches, he will never be able to improve his mental ability, neitehr his cricketing toughness. All the other aspects of the game will only improve when a player starts playing," said Ayub.
"In practice sessions you develop your skills and those skills have to be shown in a match situation, which I feel the boys have not been able to showcase. Then they will always be lacking. So once that will be taken care off then we will see a different breed of cricketers coming out," Ayub concluded.