Mumbai, October 23
Newly-elected BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday promised a corruption-free tenure, saying he will run the world’s richest cricket body the same way he led the Indian team.
“No compromise on credibility, corruption-free and same for all BCCI, just as I led India,” Ganguly said while addressing the media after formally taking charge as the BCCI President at its General Body meeting here.
The 47-year-old became the 39th BCCI President here, for a nine-month run after getting elected unopposed.
Laying down his priorities, Ganguly said he will speak to current skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday.
“Virat Kohli is the most important man in Indian cricket, we will listen to him. Mutual respect will be there, opinions will be there,” Ganguly responded when asked whether he will be speaking to Kohli.
“I will speak to Virat Kohli tomorrow, we will support him in every possible way, whatever he wants,” he said.
Asked about the speculation surrounding the future of former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is on a sabbatical since India’s semifinal exit from the ODI World Cup earlier this year.
“Champions don’t finish very quickly. Till I am around, everybody will be respected,” Ganguly said.
Ganguly said Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future in international cricket will be addressed.
Ganguly said he didn’t know what was in Dhoni’s mind but said that a player of his stature will be accorded respect.
Dhoni has been on a sabbatical from international cricket since India’s semi-final exit in the ODI World Cup, leading to speculations about his future.
“You know champions don’t finish quickly. I don’t know what’s in his mind and what he thinks about his career. So we will deal with that you know,” Ganguly said at his media conference after taking over as the board president. “He is one of the greats of the game and India is proud to have MS Dhoni over a period of time. If you even sit down and take a note of what he has done, you say, ‘Wow, MS Dhoni’,” he said.
Legends of the game have often had unceremonious exit and Ganguly himself knows it more than anyone else how it feels to fight speculations and criticism.
“Till I am around, everybody will be respected and that doesn’t change,” Ganguly said.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament starts on November 9 and it is still not clear if Dhoni will be playing that tournament in case he wants to make himself available for selection for the West Indies tour at the end of the year.
He called Kohli “the most important man in Indian cricket” and promised the captain all possible support to make his life “easier and not difficult”.
After taking charge as the BCCI boss here, Ganguly said he will be speaking to the Indian skipper on Thursday to discuss the way forward.
“I will speak to him tomorrow. He is the most important man in Indian cricket as captain of India. I look it at that way. So we will have a word with him and as I said we will support him in every possible way, he wants to make this team the best in the world. It has been a great team to be honest with the way they have played in the last three to four years,” said Ganguly.
Ganguly said he would also sit with the team management which also includes head coach Ravi Shastri.
“It will be a proper discussion and everything will be mutually discussed but be rest assured, we are here to make their life easier, not make their life difficult. Everything is on the basis of performance,” the BCCI president was clear.
“Performance is the most important thing and will decide the future of Indian cricket. Virat is the most important man in the entire context. We will support him, we will listen to him. I have been a captain myself so I understand. Mutual respect will be there, opinions and discussions will be there and we will do what is best for the game.” After it became clear that Ganguly would be the next BCCI president, the former captain had spoken about India’s inability to win the ICC events since the 2013 Champions Trophy. He spoke on the subject again.
“Yes you can say that they have not won a World Cup but you don’t win a World Cup every time. Hopefully, we will support him, whatever he wants and we will make sure Indian cricket goes ahead smoothly.” Ganguly brushed aside any need for split captaincy after rumours started doing rounds post World Cup that Rohit Sharma will be made the white-ball captain.
“I don’t think this question arises. India is winning at the moment. They are probably the best team in the world,” he added.
Following India’s 3-0 whitewash of South Africa in Ranchi on Tuesday, Kohli had expressed an urgent need to limit the Test venues to five to ensure a decent turnout.
When asked about it, Ganguly was non-committal on the matter. “In terms of Test venues, we have a lot of states, lot of venues, so we will have to sit with him (Kohli) and see what he wants and take it forward.” PTI
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