Ganguly: 'I did what I felt right for Indian cricket'

"I feel everything has its challenges. It is just that you learn things with time and learn to do them properly," says CAB president Sourav Ganguly, describing his philosophy that underpins his new role as a administrator.

“I will consider myself a good administrator if we can consistently produce Test players," Ganguly said.   -  PTI

One vividly remembers Sourav Ganguly at the Eden Gardens in January 1995, all geared up to take on England 'A’. He had an exasperated look on his face as he contemplated his future in the game.

The ill-fated tour to Australian was five years old and he seemed disillusioned. But he ended the conversation on a confident note, promising a comeback to the Indian squad. He did it next year but was uncharitably described a quota selection. He responded with a century at Lord’s.

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Twenty-one years down the line Ganguly finds himself running the show at the Eden as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). He is the busiest man at Eden, attending to various requests and breezing through one meeting after another.

How did it feel to be firmly ensconced in an administrative post? Did he visualise this journey? “You don’t see the future but obviously I didn't expect all this. The biggest satisfaction of this journey is the (424) games that I played for India. Having played the game for so long I was happy to be where I wanted to be. That is the most satisfying thing. Whatever comes after that is bonus,” Ganguly told Sportstar at his office in CAB.

Playing was tougher, he said, but administrating is also challenging. “Everything has its challenges. You just have to deal with it differently. Playing is real time. But I feel everything has its challenges. It is just that you learn things with time and learn to do them properly.”

His views are driven from the point of a cricketer. “I see it exactly as a cricketer,” Ganguly asserted. “And I try hard to do well because whatever Indian cricket is today it is because of what happens on the field. That’s what people come to watch. Whatever you do off the field is your job and one tries to make sure that it remains good.”

The common outlook is that players don’t necessarily make good administrators. “I don’t think so. Everyone can’t be judged on the same platform. You have to assess once the career is over. For an administrator you judge his work over a period of time and decide if he has done good work or not. Every comparison doesn’t always give you the exact picture. Whether it is in sports, administration or any aspect of life! When you have two people competing comparisons will happen. I won’t be able to judge whether it is the right picture or not.”

What is it that he brings to administration as a cricketer?

“What I know. And what I want to do. It is exactly the same system that I followed as a captain. I did what my heart said. I did what I felt was right for Indian cricket. I have been given a responsibility and that is what I will aim to deliver well. If I try to look for comparisons I would spend the entire tenure doing just that.”

Coaching 'in my heart'

Ganguly confesses his love for the coaching job. “That’s still in my heart. I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not? I was forced into administration because Mr. (Jagmohan) Dalmiya wanted me and I was made the CAB secretary. I still had the intention of becoming a coach when the CAB job came my way. When Mr. Dalmiya passed away I became the president.”

There is a distinguished visitor in Ganguly’s office. It's India chief coach Anil Kumble. “I have come to see the CAB president in the chambers,” smiled the India coach. He listened to Ganguly’s concluding remark. “I will consider myself a good administrator if we can consistently produce Test players. I can assist by creating the facilities and infrastructure and offer the right atmosphere at selections."

It is time to leave Ganguly and Kumble to discuss the finer points of their vocation.