As Sourav Ganguly Officially Becomes BCCI President Today, Here's A List Of Things He Must Do
It is the beginning of a new era for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), an era of presidency after 33 months of being led and administered by the Supreme Court-backed Committee of Administrators (CoA). The former captain of the Indian cricket team and a former member of the CoA, Sourav Ganguly is set to assume his position as the President of the Indian cricket board, today.
His appointment as the most important official in all of Indian cricket came as a surprise to the entire nation especially when he was unanimously elected as the President during an “informal meeting”, a day ahead of the deadline.
Nonetheless, Ganguly at the helm of things for Indian cricket is good for both domestic and international cricket as he brings two very important aspects to the table; youth (he is 47 years old) and the independent attitude to make bold decisions. Both of these were lacking in the organisation for a really long period of time.
With the transfer of power finally taking place today, here is a list of things Ganguly must do as the BCCI President:
1. Day-Night Test Matches
Some of the orthodox fans of the game have shown discontent towards the idea of having day-night Test matches for a number of reasons; however, the fact of the matter is that the pink-ball format is a solution to the loss of interest the Test cricket is experiencing lately.
Considered to be more of a broadcasting game, the day-night matches will give the audience the opportunity to sit back and watch the game in peace at the end of a busy day and will be a lot more aesthetically pleasing just like Twenty20 cricket.
Personally, Ganguly is in favour of this change and has called it “inevitable”.
2. Restructure The 'Cooling-Off' Period
The idea of the 'cooling-off' period in the BCCI is healthy and in favour of the organisation. Making a BCCI official take some time off from their position at the Board would prevent the possibility of the organisation becoming a particular person's family business. However, the execution of this idea needs to be considered.
According to the amendments made by the Supreme Court in 2018, any person who holds an office with the Indian cricket board or its state-level subsidiaries or both for two consecutive terms (for six consecutive years) must go on a 'cooling-off' period of three years before contesting for another spot.
Six years of being in office practically goes against the very idea of letting one person hold an office for too long. It enables them to place a system so rigid that changing it with the evolving needs of time becomes almost impossible. Conversely, a three-year time-off from the organisation can lead to loss of momentum for an official who is trying to bring about a change in the organisation for good.
Ganguly is also going to fall prey to this same issue because of which the former skipper is allowed to be the BCCI President just until July 2020.
3. Revamping 'Conflict Of Interest'
The so called “conflict of interest” in its current model is one of the most confusing and hypocritical “provisions” introduced under the administration of the CoA that has caused major loss of services to the players and veterans in the past.
The Vinod Rai-led committee itself appointed a particular individual as the ethics officer and ombudsman, violating the essence of 'conflict of interest'. Also, one of the members continued to partake in CoA activities despite being over 70 years of age.
Ideally speaking, an incident or an event should not be considered to be a conflict unless it causes some sort of danger or harm to another party. As suggested by The Hindu's Suresh Menon, the addition of the phrase “material difference” should be included in the rules to further clarify what falls under the ambit of 'conflict of interest'.
4. Making First Class Cricket More Valuable
Evidently, the first and the biggest concern that Ganguly said he would address was to look after first class cricket in the country. While Ranji Trophy players earn around Rs. 35,000 per day of the match and get provisions like free flight tickets and five-star hotel stays, it still feels like more of an audition for the Indian Premier League and that's about it.
Additionally, the life of a domestic cricketer in India isn't as rosy as it sounds. While the top-tier players earn a fortune with the top-salary annual contract of Rs. 7 crore from the BCCI and IPL contracts worth up to Rs. 17 crore, it is the rest of the players, about 1,000 of them who work on a daily-wage basis with no financial security.
“My first priority will be to look after first class cricketers. I had requested to the CoA and they have not listened. Ranji Trophy cricket will be the focus. To take care of cricketers' financial interest," the cricketer had said.