BCCI was in an emergency-like situation, says Sourav Ganguly

“For the last three years, there was an emergency-like situation in the BCCI, which can be overcome by all the members,” said Sourav Ganguly on Monday.

On Sunday evening, Brijesh Patel emerged as the favourite candidate for the BCCI president role, but things changed later in the night, as members unanimously wanted Sourav Ganguly to take charge.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Soon after filing his nomination for the post of president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), former India captain, Sourav Ganguly, said there has been an "emergency-like" situation in the Board over the last three years, and that needs to be addressed now.

“Hopefully in the next few months, we can put everything else and bring normalcy back in Indian cricket. For the last three years, there was an emergency-like situation in the BCCI, which can be overcome by all the members,” Ganguly said on Monday.

“The organisation belongs to the members, they had no say in the last three years. Nobody knew what will happen, when things will be solved. I have never seen something like that,” the former India captain said. He added: “The eight-member team will try to bring things back in shape. There’s lot to do. Hopefully, it will be smooth.”

While he emerged as the consensus candidate for the president role, union home minister Amit Shah's son, Jay Shah, was the unanimous candidate for the position of secretary and Arun Singh Dhumal -- brother of former BCCI chief and current MoS, Finance, Anurag Thakur -- was the candidate for the position of treasurer.

Well aware of the challenges facing his team, Ganguly said: “As a team, we have a lot to do. To get the administration in order, because it involves a lot of things.”

The 47-year-old Ganguly, who guided India to the final of the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup, feels the Indian team's "on field" performance has been brilliant as "it has played exceptionally well after the World Cup semifinal exit."

He said: “Development of cricket involves infrastructure and the back-room watch. It is our job to ensure everything is in the right frame and in the right position so that boys can go and excel.”

For Ganguly, the focus will be on first-class cricket. “I have been vocal about first-class cricketers, especially because of the amount of time they dedicate. That’s your base. I have written in the last three years that the remuneration needs to increase manifold. That’s going to be my first priority: to set the first-class cricket in order,” he said.

While he appeared to be the best choice, Ganguly made it clear that he never expressed his aspirations for this position. “There were senior people in the team. I have never expressed that I am keen. Ninety percent of the representatives in the BCCI are absolutely new and the current constitution, how it is framed, a lot of people are tentative even to decide on positions in the BCCI. If its not good enough, if it is not something where we can work, they are not interested because you lose your state association position. There are issues which are complicated which are different from the ground-level.”

On Sunday evening, Brijesh Patel emerged as the favourite candidate for the president’s role, but things changed later in the night, as members unanimously wanted Ganguly to take charge.

“Till 10.30 pm, I was not aware of this. It is a great responsibility. Even when I became captain in 2000, there were issues going around, I was made captain. It’s great to be looked as someone who can do things in different situations and hopefully I can deliver,” he said.

His term will end in July next year as he needs to go into a mandatory cooling-off period, but Ganguly doesn’t see a problem in that. “No, what the rule is, that’s what the rule is,” he said.

Back in the scheme of things, the former India captain is all set to take fresh guard after the BCCI Annual General Meeting gets over on October 23.

The Candidates

President: Sourav Ganguly

Secretary: Jay Shah

Vice-president: Mahim Verma

Treasurer: Arun Singh Dhumal

IPL GC Member: Brijesh Patel

Joint Secretary: Jayesh George

Governing council member: Khairul Jamil Majumdar

Councillor: Prabhjot Singh Bhatia