‘My focus is welfare of First-Class cricketers’

MUMBAI: Sourav Ganguly, set to be the new BCCI president, said that “it’s 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 got a serious beating.

‘My focus is welfare of First-Class cricketers’

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, along with Niranjan Shah, N Srinivasan and Rajeev Shukla, arrives at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai to file his nomination for the post of BCCI president. PTI

Mumbai, October 14

Sourav Ganguly, set to be the new BCCI president, said that “it’s 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 got a serious beating.

Ganguly pipped Brijesh Patel in a see-saw battle and is expected to be the only presidential nominee. “You need to wait till 3pm in the afternoon,” Ganguly said during an interaction. “Obviously, it’s 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 greatest of position for the last three years. Its image has got hampered quite a lot. It’s a great opportunity for me to do something good,” said the former India captain, who will have to demit president’s office in July next year, to comply with the compulsory cooling-off rule in BCCI’s new constitution.

Ganguly also said his first priority in his short tenure would be to look after First-Class cricketers. The 47-year-old plans to meet all the stakeholders in Indian cricket and wants to do something that 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.

Big responsibility

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 for only nine months? “Yes, that’s the rule and we will deal with it,” he said.

Despite his long association with cricket, and leading India to several glorious wins on the field, Ganguly is new to how boardroom politics worked in BCCI. “I didn’t know I would be the president when I came down (last night),” he said. “You (reporters) asked me and I told you it’s Brijesh… And then 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.” Ganguly had a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday and when asked whether he would have to campaign for BJP in West Bengal, he answered in the negative. “No, nothing of that sort. Nobody told me anything,” Ganguly said.

‘Nothing beats captaining India’

The late Jagmohan Dalmiya had pulled off some amazing boardroom coups in his time, and talking about him, Ganguly got emotional. “I have never imagined that I will be in shoes of late Jagmohan Dalmiya,” he said. “He has been like a father to me. There have been some great presidents of BCCI, Mr Srinivasan, Anurag, who have done a great job.”

So will it be different from captaining India? Ganguly answered, “Nothing can beat being an India captain.” — PTI

Nominations 

  • Sourav Ganguly: President
  • Jay Shah: Secretary
  • Mahim Verma: Vice-president
  • Arun Dhumal: Treasurer
  • Brijesh Patel: IPL GC Member
  • Jayesh George: Jt. secretary
  • Khairul Jamil Majumdar Governing Council member
  • Prabhjot Singh Bhatia Councillor

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