Newly-elected BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is easily the most high-profile name to head the world’s richest cricket board that has been mired in administrative turmoil for the past three years.
The 47-year-old Ganguly will be heading Indian cricket for the next nine months as succeeds C K Khanna, who was the interim head of the Board since 2017.
“It’s an honour that I have been asked to take this role. Its a new start for the BCCI,” said Ganguly, clad in his India blazer which was given to him during the time he served as India captain.
“I find myself in a position where I can make a change and its a challenge,” he added.
Ganguly has set a few goals and the primary ones are restructuring of first-class cricket as well as getting the administration back in shape along with getting India’s position of reverence back in the corridors of International Cricket Council (ICC).
With the conflict of interest rules in place, Ganguly will face the challenge of having quality cricketers on board as far as the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) and national selection committees are concerned.
His take on veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s international future, Day/Night Test cricket, permanent Test centres will also be dissected.
“Champions don’t finish very quickly. Till I am around, everybody will be respected,” Ganguly said.
Laying down his priorities, Ganguly said he will speak to current skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday.
“Virat Kohli is the most important man in Indian cricket, we will listen to him. Mutual respect will be there, opinions will be there,” Ganguly responded when asked whether he will be speaking to Kohli.
“I will speak to Virat Kohli tomorrow, we will support him in every possible way, whatever he wants,” he said.
The former India captain has promised a corruption-free tenure, saying he will lead the apex body the same way he led the Indian squad.
“No compromise on credibility, corruption-free and same for all BCCI, just as I led India,” Ganguly said while addressing the media at its General Body meeting in Mumbai.
During his tenure, Ganguly will look to coordinate with old guard such as former President N Srinivasan and ex-Secretary Niranjan Shah, whose children are now part of the BCCI.
Mahim Verma of Uttarakhand became the new vice-president, former BCCI president Anurag Thakur’s younger brother Arun Dhumal became the treasurer while Kerala’s Jayesh George took the joint secretary’s position.
“It’s a very young group. We will have to do a lot of hard work to understand what’s been going on. There have been no AGMs, no working committees in the last three years, so we have no idea how it has been done. We will take note of everything,” Ganguly said.
Ganguly, who took over as India captain during one of its darkest hours following the 2000 match-fixing scandal, will need to demit office by the end of July next year as per the provisions of new constitution, which makes Cooling Off period mandatory after six years in office.
Congratulatory messages poured in for Ganguly after the formalities were completed at the Board headquarters.
“I’m confident that as BCCI President he will take cricket to greater heights. I am hopeful that Jay Shah and Sourav Ganguly and their team will deliver. This is start of a new era for Indian cricket,” said Delhi and Districts Cricket Association chief Rajat Sharma.
Former IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla echoed the sentiment. “Sourav will be an asset because he has been the most successful captain, and he has been most successful CAB President as well” he said.
In the meeting that was also a reunion of sorts for some of the familiar faces associated with the board before the CoAs institution, Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah was made the secretary.
One of the most elegant left-handers to have represented India, Ganguly is expected to make use of his experience gained as the secretary and later president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
(With inputs from agencies)