Sourav Ganguly as Leader : Sourav Ganguly, often affectionately referred to as Dada, has been one of the most loved Indian cricketers across generations. The man had a cult-like following throughout the country. Dada is given credit for single handedly changing the attitude and perception of the Indian Cricket Team, the same attitude which landed him in trouble a couple of times in the initial stages of his career. Being one of the only four Indian cricketers to play more than 300 ODIs and 100 test matches and also captaining the Indian side in more than 190 international games, his experience, grit and determination towards the game is unparalleled.
Sourav Ganguly : Transition from a Cricketer to an Administrator
The world is witness to the on-field force that Ganguly, the captain, the batter and if need be, the bowler was but what often goes unnoticed is Ganguly, the administrator of the game. Post his retirement in 2008, Dada got involved in commentary and broadcasting of cricket tournaments and also hosted a couple of game shows for Bengali Television. In 2014, he was appointed as the Joint Secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal and shortly after that, post the unfortunate demise of Mr. Jagmohan Dalmiya, took charge as the President of the body in 2015. He would go on to hold the post for the complete term till 2019 and even get re-elected unopposed and get a continuation to Preside over the CAB till June, 2020.
Sourav Ganguly Becoming the BCCI President
On 23rd October, 2019, Ganguly, still the President of Bengal’s state cricket association, got elected unanimously as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He was the 35th individual to become the President of BCCI and only the second person after Vijay Ananda Gajapathi, who presided over BCCI from 1954 to 1956, to achieve a rare double of playing international cricket for India and rendering his services as the President of the BCCI as well.
Sourav Ganguly as BCCI President : Beginning of the Tenure and the Pandemic
Just a couple of months post Dada’s appointment, the Covid-19 Pandemic broke out and the whole world came to a standstill. The Government of India announced a nationwide lockdown from 25th March to 19th April, 2020 and the 13th season of the Indian Premier League, which was scheduled to commence on 29th March, had to be suspended indefinitely by the BCCI. Ganguly was supposed to be the President of the BCCI till 26th July, 2020 due to the rule set as per the recommendations of the Lodha Committee stating that any office bearer in cricket administration can continue for a total of 6 years following which, he will have to undergo a ‘cooling off’ period of three years but as the country was going through the first wave of the pandemic, he was allowed to continue at his post by the Supreme Court after a few changes were made to the BCCI rules.
IPL 2021 Under Sourav Ganguly as BCCI President
On 2nd August, it was announced that the IPL will start on 19th September and will be played in the United Arab Emirates. BCCI, under Ganguly’s leadership took on the mammoth task of organizing such an elaborate sports event amidst a global pandemic. All precautions were taken; empty stadiums, teams traveling as a bio bubble and hotel quarantines became the new normal of the time. The premier domestic cricket tournament, the Ranji Trophy was also suspended for the first time since its inception in the year 2020. But plans were already in the making to get cricket back in India the following year.
Return of Cricket to India under Sourav Ganguly
It was announced that the 14th edition of the IPL will take place in India, starting on 9th April, 2021 with top notch safety arrangements for the playing squads. The tournament went on as usual but in the thick of the deadly second wave of the coronavirus, the bio-bubbles being breached seemed almost inevitable and so it happened. On 4th May, a notification from BCCI stated that the tournament has been suspended indefinitely due to a rise in Covid cases in a number of squads’ bio-bubbles. On 29th May however, it was made official that the remaining of the IPL matches would now be played in the UAE in September and October. The BCCI, through a very bold move, booked almost a 50 day window for its Premier League, the schedule for which was released in July. The BCCI successfully managed to organize the tournament in the UAE, which was also the venue for the ICC World T20 starting just after the IPL ended. The domestic circuit was also revived by holding the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy and also the Ranji Trophy successfully in India in the second half of 2021.
Along with the achievements of the Ganguly-led BCCI also came some downsides where the President of the Board was often accused of extending his authority to spaces his predecessors did not have much say on. Dada was also involved in a controversy which took place after Virat Kohli stepped down from the T20I captaincy, wherein statements of both the individuals did not fit well together. The mismanagement of some sponsorship deals is also one thing Ganguly is sometimes blamed for.
As we approach the scheduled date for BCCI’s Annual General Meeting of 2022, it is already quite clear that Sourav Ganguly’s stint as the President of the BCCI is coming to an end. He was offered the post of IPL Chairman by the Board but Dada refusing that has made it clear that his administration career has come to a halt, at least for now. What really was surprising was the Board’s decision to not even support him in his desire to contest for the post of ICC Chairman. What the future holds for India’s beloved Maharaja of Cricket is something only time will disclose but in a candid interview, he did hint towards his ambition to go on to do bigger things after 8 years of being a cricket administrator.
Cricket Content Writer at SkyBlogs cricket.
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