The Ganguly factor: Can it change Bengal’s fortunes?

Former Bengal batsman Snehasish Ganguly, now CAB secretary, wants to instill the winning habit among the boys.

Sourav Ganguly with his daughter Sana and brother Snehasish Ganguly.   -  CAB Media

You can never leave out a Ganguly from Bengal cricket. Sourav’s departure from CAB to BCCI made way for his elder brother, Snehasish, into administration last week. Their uncle, Debashis, is already the treasurer.

Ahead of Bengal’s must-win Ranji Trophy match against Punjab, the former batsman stressed on the need for victories to return to limelight. Bengal’s last Ranji triumph came in 1989-90 under Sambaran Banerjee. Coincidentally, a 17-year-old Sourav had replaced Snehasish in the rain-interrupted final against Delhi at the Eden Gardens.

The side has not been able to cross the line since then. It ended as runners-up on three occasions.

“I want to implement the thought [of winning] among the boys. My first priority is to see Bengal cricket shine. There are a lot of talented players, and we have to start winning. Only then, we can come back into the limelight. Coach Arun Lal has been a tremendous motivator,” Snehasish, now the CAB secretary, told Sportstar.

READ: Avishek Dalmiya elected unopposed as CAB president

After Ganguly, Bengal produced champion players such as Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammed Shami, who are India regulars. “We definitely have the talent. We just have to motivate ourselves to do well at the highest level. We won the U-23 championship too,” he said.

In his playing days, the senior Ganguly had turned many games in Bengal’s favour. In 59 First Class games, the left-hander finished at 2,534 runs — six centuries and 11 fifties at an average of 39.59. The drive to turn the tide in Bengal cricket isn’t a surprise.

BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly with CAB president Avishek Dalmiya and secretary Snehashis Ganguly.   -  PTI

 

“It is an emotional feeling for me because I am somebody who has played for the state, and then after retiring, I am coming back to a position of responsibility. It is also rare in the Indian cricket scenario; Sourav and Mohammad Azharuddin [now the president of Hyderabad Cricket Association] are a few examples of cricketers who served their state as a player and an administrator. It is matter of pride and honour for me,” he said.

Having a family member in the association is perhaps an added advantage. “Definitely, Debashis is my uncle and he is the treasurer. He has been with CAB for a long time. But the uncle-nephew relation is in my house and at CAB, it is absolutely work and nothing else. We both have to ensure that the work is done properly.”

At present, with 26 points, Bengal is fourth on the combined Elite A and B Group table. A victory against Punjab will steer them into the quarterfinals.

It remains to be seen if the Ganguly effect can transform the cricketing fortune of Bengal for the better.

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