Sourav Ganguly: Indian cricket's crisis man since 1996, set to start new chapter as BCCI president
Former BCCI president N Srinivasan accompanied Sourav Ganguly to the headquarters on Monday (AP Photo)
- Sourav Ganguly filed his nomination for the BCCI president's post on Monday
- Ganguly is the lone candidate applying for the post and is set to be elected unopposed
- The former India captain will be in charge of the board for 10 months before his mandatory cooling off period begins
Indian cricket has once again turned to Sourav Ganguly to bail them out of troubled waters with the former captain set to take over the president's post in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Ganguly filed his nomination papers at the BCCI headquarters on Monday (deadline day) after agreeing to take up only the president's post in the BCCI.
Sourav Ganguly is the current president of the Cricket Association of Bengal and has proved his credentials as a successful administrator in the last five years, since taking up the job. He changed the face of the Eden Gardens, brought in fresh resources and improved the infrastructure at the iconic stadium in Kolkata.
Ganguly will now have 10 months to revive the BCCI's image before his cooling off period of three years begins.
The Indian cricket board has had a tumultuous time in the last few years ever since the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators took charge.
Allegations of corruption and irregularities in the day-to-day functioning of the board led to the top court appointing Vinod Rai, Vikram Limaye, Diana Edulji and Ramachandra Guha in 2017 with their primary job being the implementation of the Lodha reforms in the board.
But indifferences in the CoA and subsequent resignations of Limaye and Guha saw the committee being reduced to two members - Rai and Edulji, who were at loggerheads with each other for the majority of their tenure. Ravi Thodge was added to the committee in February this year but hardly had any say in the matters of the board.
While the CoA did manage to implement a few of the reforms suggested by Justice RM Lodha, a major part of it still remains to be adopted by the BCCI and its state associations.
Ganguly will now have to take charge of the situation along with Jay Shah (Union Home Minister Amit Shah's son), Brijesh Patel and Arun Dhumal (younger brother of ex-BCCI boss Anurag Thakur) as the possible secretary, IPL chairman and treasurer, respectively, and try to complete a job in 10 months which the CoA couldn't in three years.
Ganguly is expected to be the only candidate who will apply for the president's post and is set to be elected unopposed after the state units of the BCCI reached a consensus following their meeting in Mumbai and Delhi on Sunday.
Even though Ganguly said that looking after first-class cricketers and the Ranji Trophy will be his first priority, the Bengal stalwart is very much aware that reviving the image of the BCCI, which took a massive hit after the 2013 spot-fixing scandal which unearthed the dark side of Indian cricket and led to the top court stepping in to douse the fire, will he his primary objective.
"I am happy with the appointment because this is the time when BCCI's image has got hampered and it's a great opportunity for me to do something. Whether you are elected unopposed or otherwise, it's a big responsibility because it is the biggest organization in the world of cricket. India is a powerhouse. It will be a challenge," Ganguly said after his name was finalized in an informal meeting of BCCI state units.
But Ganguly is no stranger to facing challenges in Indian cricket.
When he took over as captain in 2000, Indian cricket was in muddy waters, picking up pieces after the match-fixing scandal. He drove the national team to safety and instilled belief that India could win overseas, thus, becoming one of the most successful leaders the team has ever had.
Now with BCCI's clout significantly reduced at the ICC, the former skipper's board-room tact will be at test.
Perhaps the board also needed someone of Ganguly's stature to handle its affairs. Who better to understand and run the BCCI than the man who represented India in 113 Tests and 311 ODIs, scoring nearly 19,000 runs in international cricket.
The belief that fans and the fraternity has in Ganguly probably swayed the members of the board to opt for him.
Sourav Ganguly bailed the national team out of trouble during Indian cricket's darkest phase in 2000, led the revival of Bengal cricket as an administrator, was part of its technical committee and was also one of the people responsible in selecting Anil Kumble as the team's head coach and Ravi Shastri after that.
Now he will be given the reigns of the BCCI, along with the responsibility of being the most powerful personality in the sport. Can Sourav Ganguly revive and instil the same belief in the board that he did in the Indian team almost two decades back? Only time will tell.