Sourav Ganguly (PTI file)
Sourav Ganguly (PTI file)

Opinion | Dada versus Didi in Bengal?

Sourav Ganguly is set to take over as the head honcho of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 23 October

Sourav Ganguly is set to take over as the head honcho of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 23 October. Reports suggest that Ganguly emerged as a consensus candidate for the post of BCCI president after a bout of political gamesmanship edged Brijesh Patel, a candidate of the old cricket establishment, out of the race.

Ganguly is hugely popular in West Bengal. His exploits on the cricket ground, both as a batsman and a captain who taught the national team to play fearless cricket, have become the stuff of legend. His rise to the top of India’s cricket administration should augur well for Indian cricket. His remarkable ability to spot and groom talent—Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Virendra Sehwag come to mind—should help him in his new job.

But might Ganguly have timed this move to the perfection of a classic square cut? So it appears. Dada, as he is fondly called, will hold the post for just 10 months, after which a three-year cooling-off period would ensue in accordance with Lodha Committee rules. He has been the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal for the past five years, and an administrator can serve for only six consecutive years under the rules. West Bengal’s assembly polls are scheduled for 2021. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress has been under pressure, with an aggressive Bharatiya Janata Party gaining support across the state. For both Banerjee and the BJP, Ganguly would be a prize catch. The BJP had reportedly approached the former captain to contest an election in 2016. Perhaps that offer still stands.

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