With the former Indian skipper and Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly filing the nomination for the post of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday (October 14), decks have been cleared for the ‘Bengal Tiger’ to get elected unopposed to the top post.
Along with Ganguly, India’s Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah and Arun Singh Dhumal, brother of former BCCI president Anurag Thakur are also set to assume charge as BCCI secretary and treasurer, respectively.
Ganguly, who wants the new BCCI team to focus on first-class cricket, is only the second Indian captain to lead the BCCI after Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, who took charge in 1954.
“We will focus on developing first-class cricket. Remunerations for domestic cricketers shall also be increased,” he said addressing the media after filing his nomination.
The former Test captain also said that he will address the issue of conflict of interest which has roped in several former cricketers such as Rahul Dravid.
“I think it is important to set the house in order and I would like to address the issue of conflict of interest too, ” he added.
Kerala Cricket Association president Jayesh George shall take the joint secretary’s post in Indian cricket’s apex body.
The new BCCI president-elect on Monday said “its a great opportunity for him to do something good” as he is taking over the reins of the board at a time when its image has taken a severe beating.
“Obviously, its a great feeling as I have played for the country and captained the country. And I am taking over at a time when BCCI has not been in the greatest of position for the last three years. Its image has got hampered quite a lot,” Ganguly told PTI during an interaction.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to do something good,” said the 47-year-old, who is will have to demit his CAB post in September 2020 as he will go into compulsory cooling-off period.
Ganguly, one of the finest Indian captains, will turn a new leaf albeit for 10 months even as a new chapter starts in Indian cricket. Typically, like his administrative guru Jagmohan Dalmiya, Ganguly looked all but lost till he pulled it off at the last moment.
Ganguly plans to meet all the stakeholders in Indian cricket and wants to do something that the Committee of Administrators (CoA) didn’t do for 33 months.
“We will speak to everyone first as we take a decision but my biggest priority will be to look after first-class cricketers. I had requested that to the CoA for three years and they didn’t listen. That’s the first thing I will do, look after the financial health of our first-class cricketers,” said Ganguly, who scored more than 18,000 international runs.
Being selected unopposed is a big responsibility, he admitted. “Whether unopposed or not, there has to be responsibility as it is the biggest organisation in world cricket. Financially, India is a cricketing powerhouse, so it will be a challenge,” he said.
Does he regret that the term will be only for nine months? “Yes, that’s the rule and we will deal with it.” For someone, who has won many close ODIs for India, Ganguly was emotionally intrigued by how the board room politics worked.
“I didn’t know I would be the President when I came down. You (reporter) asked me and I told you its Brijesh and when I went up and I came to know it has changed. I have never been in a BCCI election and I never knew it worked like this,” he said.
He had a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday and when asked about whether he will have to campaign for BJP in Bengal, he answered in the negative. “No, no nothing of that sort. Nobody told me anything,” Ganguly said.
Jagmohan Dalmiya has pulled off some amazing board room coups and talking about the late BCCI boss, Ganguly got emotional.
“I have never imagined so (that I will be in shoes of late Jagmohan Dalmiya). He has been like a father to me. There has been some great presidents of BCCI, Mr. Srinivasan, Anurag, who have done great job,” he said. So will it be different from captaincy? Ganguly answered, “Nothing can beat being an India captain.”
As for Jay Shah, he has been the joint secretary for Gujarat Cricket Association since 2013. However, he did not seek re-election after changes were made according to the recommendations of Lodha Committee.
Anurag Dhumal was appointed as the head of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association last month and has been representing HPCA in BCCI meetings. But now he will take charge as the new treasurer for the Indian cricket body.
(With inputs from agencies)