Newly-elected Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday promised a corruption-free tenure, saying he will 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 in Mumbai.
The 47-year-old became the 39th BCCI President, signed on 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.
On captain Virat Kohli:
“I will speak to him tomorrow [on Thursday]. 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 will 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.
“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.”
On split captaincy:
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.”
On Kohli’s suggestion on having just five venues for Tests:
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.
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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.”
On MS Dhoni:
Asked about the speculation surrounding the future of former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is on a sabbatical since India’s semi-final 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.
“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. “Till I am around, everybody will be respected and that doesn’t change.”
On Bangladesh series:
Ganguly has maintained that Bangladesh will turn up for the tour starting November 3. Nearly 50 players are part of the protest, which was thrown into jeopardy after their national team players refused to participate in any cricketing activity until their demands, including a hike in salary, are met.
“It’s their internal matter,” Ganguly said. [But] the Bangladesh PM [Sheikh Hasina] has said she will turn up for the Test in Kolkata. If she has given her consent, I don’t see how the national team won’t.”
(With PTI inputs)