Shastri: Binny has got all boxes ticked to become BCCI president

Ravi Shastri is delighted to see Roger Binny, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, leading the cricket board.

Published : Oct 12, 2022 21:39 IST , Mumbai

FILE PHOTO: Ravi Shastri (left) and Roger Binny during a preparatory camp in 2015.
FILE PHOTO: Ravi Shastri (left) and Roger Binny during a preparatory camp in 2015. | Photo Credit: K BHAGYA PRAKASH

FILE PHOTO: Ravi Shastri (left) and Roger Binny during a preparatory camp in 2015. | Photo Credit: K BHAGYA PRAKASH

Ravi Shastri and Roger Binny have been close friends and colleagues for over four decades now. And as Binny gears up to succeed Sourav Ganguly as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Shastri is delighted by the news of a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team leading the cricket board.

“Roger’s name has come up and I am delighted. He was my colleague in the World Cup. There is continuity here because he was the president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association and now, he moves on to become the president of the BCCI. I am extremely happy because it’s a World Cup winner who is the president for the first time in the history of the BCCI,” Shastri said during an interaction at the Mumbai Press Club on Wednesday.

The former India head coach also welcomed the latest Supreme Court verdict of relaxing the cooling off period. “With the new judgment, it gives the Board an opportunity to come back on track,” he said.

On Tuesday, Binny filed his nomination for the president of the BCCI and despite his keenness, Ganguly did not get a chance to seek another term as the head of the Board. Shastri, who has had a hot and cold relationship with Ganguly over the years, believes that nothing is permanent in life.

“As I read in the media, I don’t think anyone had a second term as president. So, the way things stand, it gives an opportunity for another cricketer. Nothing is permanent in life and you can only do certain things for so long and then you have to move on,” Shastri said. “Something I am doing today does not mean I will do the same thing for three years from now. There will be new people coming in, new people taking over. In a way, it’s healthy.”

Having known Binny for years, Shastri believes that with an unquestionable credibility, his friend ticks all the boxes. “His credentials are unquestionable, you look at his integrity, his character… and like I mentioned, he is a World Cup winner. He’s got all the boxes ticked to become the president of the BCCI,” Shastri said.

“Being a cricketer himself, he will ensure that the interest of cricketers is paramount, not the A tier that will sustain itself, but the grassroot level. Primarily, domestic cricket. I think it has been given a lot of attention to, but can be given a lot more attention,” Shastri said.

So, being a former cricketer, Binny will need to give attention to women’s cricket as well. “Then there’s women’s cricket, that’s taking off across the globe, the team that we have, we are not far away from winning a World Cup. That will trigger something special in this country,” Shastri said.

The 67-year-old Binny has had previous experiences of being an administrator. He was part of the KSCA panel along with Brijesh Patel and Anil Kumble about a decade ago, before rejoining as the president of the state unit in 2019. “He is a very amiable guy, he has got a mind of his own. He might not be a flippant type, but when he opens his mouth, he will definitely be heard especially on cricketing matters,” Shastri said.

Despite being arguably the richest cricket board in the globe, BCCI has often drawn flak for failing to make stadiums spectator-friendly. Shastri feels that’s one area the Binny-led BCCI should look at. “The most important thing is that the facilities at the ground should be uplifted big time. It should be insisted upon,” Shastri said.

With no one else filing nomination for the role, Binny is set to be elected unopposed during the BCCI’s AGM next week.

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