regular-article-logo Thursday, 28 September 2023

BCCI: Shadow of Sourav as Binny era dawns

Mamata Banerjee’s appeal to PM, requesting him to ensure Ganguly can contest ICC polls, has failed to evoke any response till late on Monday night

Indranil Majumdar Mumbai Published 18.10.22, 03:39 AM
Sourav Ganguly.

Sourav Ganguly. File picture

In a few hours, Sourav Ganguly’s innings as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will come to an end. Yet, the former captain remains a much-talked-about personality in the Board’s corridors of power.

If his removal from the hot seat provided a political twist to the saga, there is little indication to suggest that there has been a change of heart among the powers-that-be towards Sourav.


Even Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s appeal to the Prime Minister, requesting him to ensure Sourav can contest the International Cricket Council (ICC) polls, has failed to evoke any response till late on Monday night. The Taj Mahal Palace hotel, the venue for Tuesday’s AGM and where the representatives of the 38 state units are staying, has been the buzz of all activity since afternoon.

The who’s who of the Board have already arrived though former supremo N. Srinivasan is unlikely to be present. The Tamil Nadu strongman, who played a key role in Roger Binny’s ascendancy to the president’s post during the unofficial ‘conclave’ in New Delhi, was the notable absentee during Monday’s official dinner.

Roger Binny.

Roger Binny. File picture

Besides the Srinivasanbacked Binny, a star performer of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, the new set of office-bearers will include Maharashtra’s Ashish Shelar (treasurer) and Devajit Saikia (joint secretary) of Assam. Arun Dhumal will be the chairman of the IPL governing council, a position Sourav declined to accept. Jay Shah will continue as secretary.

Following the uproar over what was perceived as a snub to Sourav, the Board got into damage-control mode with outgoing treasurer Dhumal terming as “routine” the reason for denying the former India captain a second term as president. Expressing satisfaction over the way the Board had been run during Sourav’s tenure, Dhumal also claimed that none had spoken against him.

If the Board had been so satisfied with Sourav’s functioning, it should have rewarded him by backing him for the ICC’s chair. Instead, not a word was spoken and, as sources suggested, he was made to feel like a recluse since the change of guard was finalised.

The eighth item on the agenda deals with the ICC and a detailed discussion is expected.

Unless there’s a miracle, the BCCI will not back any new nomination for the ICC chair at the Council’s AGM in Melbourne in November. Former presidents Srinivasan and Anurag Thakur are eligible but will not throw their hats in the ring for varying reasons. While Thakur is occupied with his ministerial commitments, Srinivasan has health issues.

New Zealand’s Greg Barclay has already said he would like to continue for another term, but may have been forced to stay away had the Indian board put in a request. The last date for filing nominations is Thursday.

As per the ICC’s constitution, any present or former director who has attended at least one board meeting is eligible to run for the chair. ICC directors are each allowed to nominate one candidate and nominees with the support of two or more directors are eligible to contest an election.

“The Board hierarchy has made up its mind to not consider anyone for the ICC top post. The option will be put before the members — should the Board have its own candidate or support Barclay.

“Let’s put it straight: A change can only be considered if someone from the BJP high command decides to step in. Otherwise, it’s almost final that none is being considered,” a source told The Telegraph.

Sourav has already made up his mind to contest the president’s post at the Cricket Association of Bengal.

The AGM will also formally approve the Women’s IPL, to begin with five franchises.

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