Sourav Ganguly’s first month as BCCI president – A look back

Sourav Ganguly as BCCI President along with Jay Shah and other office bearers.

It has been only a month since Sourav Ganguly took over as BCCI president. Yet, it feels almost as if something has happened every other day in the past thirty days. The fans all over the country have been enthralled by whatever he has said and done. However, the veteran journalists have been sceptical about it, and there are indeed questions to be answered as well.

Here we take a look at what has conspired over the past month in BCCI with Ganguly at the helm.

The first D/N Test in Indian cricket:

It will always be the top talking point, whenever we talk about Ganguly’s tenure as the BCCI president. The 2019 Duleep Trophy tournament was changed to day-matches by the BCCI. Out of nowhere, Ganguly threw light on the idea of D/N Tests on the day he took charge. To organise a D/N Test match in concurrence with the captain and board members on such short notice is commendable. The city of Joy turned pink for its prince. Although the contest was heavily one-sided, it was a delight to witness the Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma’s masterclass. The aftereffects need to be studied and analysed in detail though, before conducting the next Day-Night test match. 

A Visit to the National Cricket Academy:

Ganguly along with the other office bearers visited the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. Rahul Dravid, who is the Head of the NCA, presented the case on how to take the NCA forward. “Rahul spoke at length on how to take NCA, and Indian cricket forward. It was a very detailed presentation. The NCA has turned into a rehab centre. But Dravid wants to turn it into a centre of excellence which it used to be. He focused largely on developing grass-roots cricket. He feels that once talent at the grass-roots level is strong, the national team will be strong,” said Ganguly.

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Central contract for domestic cricketers:

When Ganguly took charge as BCCI president, he made it clear that the players’ welfare will be the priority. They are the ones who do the hard yards, and they will get the deserved respect as long as he is there. He talked in length about securing the careers of the players in the domestic circuit financially. “We will bring in a contract system for first-class cricketers. We (office-bearers) will ask the new finance (sub) committee to prepare a contract system.” It is not yet put to act, but soon we may see this happening.

Questions to be answered:

Politics or Sport?

The very next day after Ganguly took charge, reports came in that N Srinivasan has told the outgoing Committee of Administrators, “We are back.” The current office bearers have put forth several alterations that will swipe-off the reforms carried out by the Lodha committee. They are trying to change the three-year cooling-off period for the office bearers, modifications in the disqualification criteria, providing unprecedented powers to the secretary and keeping the court out of the decisions that are made by the BCCI. These points are to be discussed and voted in the board’s annual general body meeting, which is bound to happen on December 1. 

Jay Shah, the son of Home Minister Amit Shah is the current secretary of the board, and there are hardly any reports about him and the allegations about the Temple Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. With the term of Sourav Ganguly ending in nine months, it will be no surprise if Jay Shah took over as President after him. 

Ganguly a diversion?

The BCCI power players including N Srinivasan and Anurag Thakur have played it cleverly by appointing Sourav Ganguly as the President. The kind of adulation and respect that Ganguly receives from the fans will attract all the traction towards him in the media. Meanwhile, they can be back in power and doing what they have done all along. 

To say that Ganguly is a pawn in their pocket will be an overstatement. But he is taking the limelight away from the power players and the activities that are being carried out in the background. Despite making news every other day in the past month at the office, there is very little that has happened, except for the pink-ball Test match. Day-Night Tests are a welcome move, but the necessity to conduct one in such short notice, without sufficient practice for the players against a relatively weaker Bangladesh team is debatable. 

On Women’s cricket?

So far, there hasn’t been any significant statement from the BCCI President regarding Women’s cricket in the country. With the T20 World Cup happening in February 2020, it is the prime time to discuss Women’s cricket. Barring a generic mention on the day he took charge, there hasn’t been anything from Sourav Ganguly regarding women’s cricket since then.

Suresh Menon recently made an interesting point in A Cricketingview Podcast. He said that the fans wouldn’t bother what is happening in the administration as long as the team is winning. This Indian cricket Team is doing well in that front. And there are many questions with respect to the administration that has gone unanswered so far. Maybe we will get a better picture of Ganguly’s administration in the upcoming months.