The departure of Ma Durga is always a solemn affair for Bengalis. However, this time, the festivities seem to be continuing. After Abhijit Banerjee won the Nobel Prize for Economics, the public mood in West Bengal received yet another boost by the news of Sourav Ganguly’s appointment as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The Kolkatan had given Indian cricket a new lease of life as the captain of the Indian cricket team. Expectations are high as he takes charge of the BCCI. Though his appointment is being seen by some as a part of a well-spread political move, very few doubt Ganguly’s capability and the fact that he is the right man to take Indian cricket forward.
Former India fast bowler Ashok Dinda told BE, “He is a big person on the field. At a time when Indian cricket was facing a lot of problems, he carried out his responsibilities extremely well, both as a player and a captain.”
Dinda added, “Talented youngsters will get the opportunity they deserve. Being a player himself, his knowledge of the game will allow him to give valuable advice to the International Cricket Council (ICC). Not only Indian cricket but world cricket will benefit from his appointment.”
While Indian cricket has done well on the field, even scripting a famous victory in the test series against Australia in their turf, it has not been smooth sailing off the field. The BCCI delayed the implementation of the Lodha Committee reforms which were meant to clean up the administrative part of the sport’s governing body. After the spot fixing scandal in the IPL in 2013, fingers were pointed at people within BCCI.
The Lodha Committee reforms ran into a number of road blocks but finally there seems to be a ray of hope as Ganguly and his team take charge. Not one to turn his back on a challenge, Ganguly has also worked wonders for Bengal cricket as the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). Under his charge, both the men’s and the women’s teams from Bengal had memorable outings with the women’s team hogging the limelight with some stellar performances.
The enhanced ground conditions and match readiness now visible at the Eden Gardens is a result of the planning and effort put in by Sourav Ganguly. No wonder his appointment has created a wave of expectations among cricket enthusiasts.
Just as he redirected Indian cricket after the match fixing allegations back in 2000, Ganguly has said that his first priority as the President of BCCI will be damage control. In his words, “In the past three years, the BCCI has not been in the greatest position.”
Though his tenure is set for a short period of 10 months, there is hope that during this time, he will come up with a number of decisive enhancements for Indian cricket. Ganguly has promised to look after first class cricketers. People will also have their eyes on how Ganguly deals with the ambiguity surrounding MS Dhoni’s cricketing career. Dhoni has been on a sabbatical since the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand earlier this year.
Back in 2006-07, Ganguly had staged a rousing comeback in international cricket against South Africa, after Indian cricket’s disastrous tenure under Greg Chappell. During the days of Chappell, there was an air of suspicion all around just as there is now with the functioning of the BCCI. Ganguly will once again look to punch his way through the adversities and do it with the same swagger which had famously earned him the name ‘Prince of Kolkata’.