A man for all seasons: On BCCI president-elect Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly might just be the person Indian cricket administration needs now

Over the last four years, Indian cricket has played out at two distinctly contrasting levels. On the field, the squad gained heft, remained unassailable at home with the latest validation being the triumph over South Africa; and Virat Kohli’s men also found their voice overseas as even Australia was quelled in its backyard. But off the field, the scenario was one of cloak and dagger as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) delayed the implementation of the much-needed Lodha Committee reforms that had the Supreme Court’s backing. That the BCCI needed its share of cleansing became a grim reality once the spot-fixing and betting controversy marred the 2013 Indian Premier League. The investigations had yanked out skeletons that pointed fingers at players, officials and bookies. The Lodha recommendations and the Committee of Administrators led by Vinod Rai, the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, which was vested with the power to speed up the reforms, ran into a bunch of obfuscating BCCI officials. But finally there is a semblance of light at the end of the dark administrative tunnel. The reforms have been enforced and the BCCI with a new set of office-bearers should formally take charge following the elections on October 23. And, interestingly, former India captain Sourav Ganguly is all set to step up as the board’s president.

Having been the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, a chair he will relinquish due to his ascendancy to the BCCI’s top post, Ganguly does have administrative experience. The latest elevation fits into his template of constantly defying the odds. In 1996, when he was selected to play for India during the England tour, the elegant southpaw was deemed to have sneaked in through the informal East Zone quota system. His riposte was a hundred on Test debut at Lord’s. When Indian cricket got mired in the match-fixing controversy during 2000, Ganguly took over the reins of captaincy and reclaimed the faith of the fans. But his was a roller-coaster tenure and when the acrimonious split with coach Greg Chappell seemingly ended his career, Ganguly staged a rousing comeback during the South Africa tour in 2006-07. Eleven years after he retired in 2008 with 18,575 international runs and 38 hundreds, the Ganguly story isn’t finished. But he has arduous challenges ahead as the potency of the Lodha reforms remains diluted with several State associations allowing nepotism to flourish with family members and friends of erstwhile office-bearers taking charge. Ganguly the skipper had helped Indian cricket go beyond the metros as he backed players from the hinterland. He needs to reiterate that spirit while also countering the old guard which may resist his efforts.


Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Aug 1, 2020 10:37:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/a-man-for-all-seasons/article29683430.ece

Next Story