As Sourav Ganguly stepped into the shoes of BCCI President, in October, everyone was eager to see the following nine months pan out for Indian cricket as ‘Dada’ sat at the helm. But those nine months are almost over and nobody’s ready to see him go, but he should for the good of world cricket.
“During his captaincy, he led the team flawlessly. His rich legacy was carried forward by MS Dhoni and now Virat Kohli is doing a fine job. I am sure that he will set the same example in BCCI as its president too,” were Harbhajan Singh’s words, as quoted by TOI, after Ganguly joined the office as BCCI President in October last year. And now, those nine months are about to end and, unfortunately, the last four months of his tenure would be nullified due to the coronavirus outbreak. And now, there are speculations of Ganguly running for the role of the new ICC President, which fits in perfectly since Shashank Manohar’s term is coming to an end in the same month as Ganguly's tenure at BCCI. Quite expectedly and evidently, well-wishers are not ready to see Ganguly step down from the top of the Indian cricket hierarchy.
And why not, in a short span of about five months, ahead of the lockdown, Dada delivered exactly what people had trusted him with and more. A man who had shown India out of the twilight of match-fixing was bequeathed with the responsibility of taking the BCCI beyond the Supreme Court-appointed CoA rule. During vesper at the Eden Gardens, Dada brought in the light of India’s first-ever Day/Night Test within a few weeks of joining office. India played Bangladesh, on November 22, in Kolkata and emerged victorious in the historic Pink Ball Test match. The world lauded Ganguly for being able to pull off such a huge feat within less than a month as BCCI chairman.
A captain who never considered regional boundaries and brought in talent invariably had then vowed to give his best into domestic cricket as one of his first agendas as board president. And he did. Under Ganguly’s administration, a contract system for first-class cricketers was implemented inspiring young cricketers to keep playing the sport without the fear of losing careers. To think about it, 37 teams and roughly 700 cricketers had participated in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy and Ganguly’s step to prepare contracts for them was definitely among the biggest operations undertaken by the BCCI. The planning was as such that a cricketer with a good season, annually earns around ~25 to 30 lakh.
At a time when the Indian board was at a turmoil due to the power of the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, the ones in power decided to appoint a strong and dynamic character like Ganguly. Not only did it smoothen the administrative situation of the BCCI but also resolved the tiff between N Srinivasan and Anurag Thakur- who have forever been at loggerheads.
The reputation that the former Indian captain has built over the years is undeniable but his work over the first few months in office has earned him another accolade- the one of an able administrator. And now he has a rich legacy to leave behind, as he did with his captaincy, for the next set of office-bearers. Even though the BCCI has filed a petition, yet again, to keep Ganguly in office for the next a full five-year term, it’s best to understand that his job is done and it’s time he takes his service to a higher level, as ICC chairman. He is the who changed the face of Indian cricket as captain, the administrator who took charge of the CAB, and the leader who helped BCCI strengthen relations with other national boards. The visionary will now oversee the entire spectrum of cricket and isn’t it what the cricketing world needs right now?
Yes, Ganguly’s policies have evidently followed Srinivasan’s rule, strict parallel to those adorned by Shashank Manohar. While the former wanted BCCI to be at the helm of things, Manohar made sure that the ‘Big Three’ was never adopted by the ICC. But the current ICC Chairman had to himself bow down to the demands of the BCCI as in 2017 he offered $405 million as per, revenue-sharing model, to the Indian board.
As a result, India were given $266 million more than England, the next on the list. And Ganguly, on the other hand, has all sound knowledge of financials there has to be since his first agenda as BCCI chief was to sort out the monetary aspect with the ICC, as he had himself declared after his appointment in October. “India is to get $372 million from the ICC 2016-23 cycle. It is a lot heavy at the backend. Till now we have got whatever it is and we have to make sure we get our due. We will work with the ICC and take this forward,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by the Hindu.
The fact that several boards, including the top tier nations, have already been more keen on establishing a stronger relationship with the BCCI had everything to do with Ganguly’s name linked to the brand. Under Ganguly’s reign as BCCI President, these boards were already coming together to form a world order. In his time as President, Ganguly got together with the CEOs of CA [Kevin Roberts] and NZC [David White] in Mumbai earlier this year. For us, the bourgeoises, it is rather difficult to say if the Big Three shall take the form of Big Five. But if his reputation and calibre are to be believed, the extension of the brighter side of the story will pan out if Ganguly is in fact elected as the chairman of the ICC.
And to attest that, the idea of Ganguly sitting at the top of the world cricket hierarchy is already being supported by administrators around the world. Just recently, Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket Graeme Smith backed Ganguly’s candidature and that not only showcases the support he has from office bearers but also from players who were once his contemporaries. And, of course, Ganguly will have the backing of BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal who has also backed an Indian to sit on the ICC throne. Again, as BCCI has filed a petition to the Supreme Court to keep Ganguly for a full five-year term, it is natural they want his glorious presence in the setup. But if BCCI follows exactly what was agreed upon with the law, Ganguly legacy would be honoured as well as he’ll be able to manage the sport from a level up higher.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi