Sourav Ganguly getting the balancing act right
CHENNAI: As captain, Sourav Ganguly was one of the shrewdest, who dared like no other Indian. On Sunday, Ganguly the administrator showcased those qualities at a meeting involving around 100 past and present members of the board. He is understood to have turned the tide in his favour in a matter of minutes. Not only did he stage a coup but according to sources, he also seems to have by his side both former presidents N Srinivasan and Anurag Thakur.
Though there was speculation that Brijesh Patel was the frontrunner, things started changing over the weekend. Thakur, involved in selecting the office-bearers, is believed to have come up with Ganguly’s name. This was a secret until the meeting began late on Sunday evening. Although Patel’s name came up first, there was no consensus among the members.
A member who attended the meeting said Ganguly was even ready to nominate Patel if there was consensus. But since members were not unanimous on Patel, Thakur put forward Ganguly’s name. Though there were brief talks of election, Srinivasan and Thakur shut out that option and picked Ganguly. With Jay Shah taking up the secretary’s post, Patel is understood to have accepted the IPL governing council offer after some persuasion.
For outsiders, choosing Ganguly and Shah for the top positions comes as a surprise. Given the turbulent ride BCCI has gone through, one expected the members to choose officials who can remain in office for the full term of three years. Patel would have been eligible for that. But many members believe Ganguly was picked because the BCCI needs an image makeover. They expect a president of his stature to be heard in the Supreme Court, when the matter of conflict of interest comes up, among others.
“There are challenges and issues needing immediate response,” said an official. “Being a former captain, Ganguly brings a different element into the picture. He can present our case as a cricketer and also as an administrator. That carries weight. Even if he gets the board back in shape in 10 months, half the job will be done. The members were unanimous that the BCCI needs a strong man.”
While Ganguly had the backing of Thakur, the way he won over Srinivasan’s camp including the units from south has impressed many. Sources indicated Ganguly also assured Srinivasan that he won’t stand in his way if he wants to be BCCI’s nominee for ICC meetings. “He has ensured everyone is by his side, which is a good start,” said a West Zone official.
TNCA waits for October 18
Tamil Nadu Cricket Association filed an application in Supreme Court on Monday, questioning the CoA’s decision to bar it from attending the BCCI AGM for being non-compliant. The hearing is slated for October 18. Haryana, Maharashtra, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, Railways, Services and Combined Universities have also been kept out of the process for various reasons.