Former India captain Sourav Ganguly officially took over as the President of Board of Control for Cricket in India on Wednesday at the board’s Annual General Meeting.
Ganguly had earlier pipped Brijesh Patel in a see-saw battle and was the only presidential nominee as he became the president, unopposed at the AGM.
“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 the BCCI has not been in greatest of position for the last three years,” Ganguly had said earlier when his nomination was confirmed. “[Board’s] image has got hampered quite a lot. It’s a great opportunity for me to do something good.”
Ganguly’s tenure is not completely clear at the moment but it is going to be a short time at the helm, for sure. While earlier reports said Ganguly will serve as chief for bout ten months because of the mandatory cooling off period of five years for officials (he has been serving as Bengal association’s chief since 2015), PTI reported he “will need to demit office by the end of July next year as per the provisions of new constitution, which makes Cooling Off period mandatory after six years in office.”
Ganguly’s appointment was finalised last week in a meeting that was also a reunion of sorts for some of the familiar faces associated with the board before the CoA’s institution, as Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah was made the secretary.
During his tenure, Ganguly will look to coordinate with old guard such as former President N Srinivasan and ex-Secretary Niranjan Shah, whose children are now part of the BCCI.
Mahim Verma of Uttarakhand became the new vice-president.
Former BCCI president and current junior finance minster Anurag Thakur’s younger brother Arun Dhumal became the treasurer while Kerala’s Jayesh George took the joint secretary’s position.
Ganguly, who took over as India captain during one of its darkest hours following the 2000 match-fixing scandal,
Ganguly had also said his first priority in the 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 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, who scored more than 18,000 international runs.
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.
(With PTI inputs)