MUMBAI: 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 was officially entrusted with the task of heading Indian cricket for the next nine months at the BCCI’s General Body meeting here, ending a controversial 33-month reign of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).Ganguly’s appointment was finalised last week. He succeeds CK Khanna, who was the interim head of the Board since 2017.”It’s an honour that I have been asked to take this role. It’s a new start for the BCCI,” said Ganguly, clad in his India blazer which was given to him during the time he served as India captain.”I find myself in a position where I can make a change and it’s a challenge,” he added.In the meeting that was also a reunion of sorts for some of the familiar faces associated with the board before the CoA’s institution, Union 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 minister Anurag Thakur’s younger brother Arun Dhumal became the treasurer while Kerala’s Jayesh George took the joint secretary’s position.”It’s a very young group. We will have to do a lot of hard work to understand what’s been going on. There have been no AGMs, no working committees in the last three years, so we have no idea how it has been done. We will take note of everything,” Ganguly said. Congratulatory messages poured in for Ganguly after the formalities were completed at the Board headquarters. “I’m confident that as BCCI President he will take cricket to greater heights. I am hopeful that Jay Shah and Sourav Ganguly and their team will deliver. This is start of a new era for Indian cricket,” said Delhi and Districts Cricket Association chief Rajat Sharma.Former IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla echoed the sentiment.”Sourav will be an asset because he has been the most successful captain, and he has been most successful CAB President as well” he said.Ganguly, who took over as India captain during one of its darkest hours following the 2000 match-fixing scandal, 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. One of the most elegant left-handers to have represented India, Ganguly is expected to make use of his experience gained as the secretary and later president of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).He has set a few goals and the primary ones are restructuring of first-class cricket as well as getting the administration back in shape along with getting India’s position of reverence back in the corridors of International Cricket Council (ICC).
With the conflict of interest rules in place, Ganguly will face the challenge of having quality cricketers on board as far as the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) and national selection committees are concerned.
His take on veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s international future, Day/Night Test cricket, permanent Test centres will also be dissected.
His tenure begins at a time when the International Cricket Council has left India out of its newly-formed working group, which might affect the country’s share in the ICC revenue.
The group has been formed to figure out a new governance structure for the world body.