Would like Virat Kohli to focus on winning big tournaments: Sourav Ganguly
Former cricketer Sourav Ganguly. (File Photo: IANS)
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president-elect and former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said he would like to see the Indian team management focus on winning more ICC tournaments and that is an area he would like skipper Virat Kohli to address.
“My only thing is that they need to win big tournaments. They are not going to win every time but they have gone through seven tournaments without winning one,” Ganguly told reporters at the Eden Gardens on his arrival in the city from Mumbai amid much fanfare.
“They are a much better side than that. That is an area they need to get ready mentally. Talent is enormous. We reached the World Cup semis. That’s an issue which Virat needs to address. It doesn’t happen in the boardroom,” said the 47-year-old.
India last won an ICC tournament in 2013 when the M.S. Dhoni-led side beat England in the final of the 50-over Champions Trophy.
Asked about the 50-over Champions Trophy being replaced by back-to-back World T20s in 2020 and 2021, Ganguly said: “Times have changed. We will have to respect that. When Champions Trophy came in, I was captain that time and it was a huge tournament. With the advent of T20, people come in more for T20 games and the ICC is going by that.”
Ganguly also rated his Test debut in 1996 as a bigger moment in his life than becoming the BCCI President. “1996 will always be the biggest day of my life. I played a first test match for India nothing can beat that,” he added.
Ganguly scored a hundred on debut against England at Lord’s in June, 1996.
Ganguly also spoke on India Test wicketkeeper and local boy Wriddhiman Saha, who took two brilliant catches in the second Test in the ongoing series against South Africa in Pune. He said the 34-year-old will have to score runs in order to continue playing for the country.
“I am extremely happy that he plays for the country and does it so well behind the stumps. But my suggestion for him is that in front of the stumps also he has to score a lot more runs. His wicketkeeping will never be doubted. If he has to play 100 Test matches he will have to score a lot more runs. I have played with him, I want his good.”
On the ICC’s wish to stage the 50-over World Cup every three years, Ganguly said: “Sometimes less is more in life. So we have got to be careful with that. And the football World Cup happens every four years and you see the madness.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is planning to propose a Futures Tours Programme (FTP) in which T20 World Cup will be played every year and the 50-over World Cup once every three years.
“That’s a decision the ICC has to make. I’m not in a position to talk or comment on it. As and when I get an opportunity to be a part of the discussion, I will speak,” Ganguly said.
He said the BCCI headquarters will remain in Mumbai. “Obviously all the officers, president, secretaries will have their own offices to work and make sure the daily work goes on. BCCI setup system is a lot more organised than state associations. So from that point of view, it’s going to be a mix and match of both.”
“I’m here to do a job for everyone and make Indian cricket a lot more clean administration wise. To get the backroom ready and smooth for everyone. I cannot contribute much on the field.”
Ganguly also spoke on whether this is another comeback of sorts.
“I’ve not got hurt much. If you see in the cricket history of India, only three players have made it to 300 ODIs and 100 Tests. Dravid and Tendulkar and luckily me. Maybe Kohli will play more than that.
“So if I see from that point of view, I don’t think I can expect more than that. When you stay at the top, things will not be rosy all the time. It’s in everybody’s life you go up and down and come back. That happened to me and I dealt with it,” he concluded.