Former India captain Sourav Ganguly met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee amidst strong speculation that he may take over as the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal following the death of Jagmohan Dalmiya. Ganguly, who is a joint secretary of the CAB, arrived at the state secretariat along with Dalmiya’s son Avishek and held an hour-long meeting with the chief minister. The former India captain, a firm Dalmiya loyalist, however, refused to comment on whether he would throw his hat as a candidate for the president’s post.
“To discuss something like this (three days after his death) is not right. Speculation will be on, someone will run CAB. It’s too early to comment because it has just been three days… It’s very early to say,” Ganguly told reporters after his meeting. Condoling Dalmiya’s demise, Ganguly said: “I’ve lost someone very dear. I’ve grown up before him since childhood. I had a very personal relation with Dalmiya… He was very special to me, I’ve lost a very important person.”
Dalmiya’s concluding ritual (shraddh) will be held on October 2 and Avishek said he had come to invite the Chief Minister. “On October 2 my father’s shraddh ceremony will be held. I went to invite the chief minister who gave outstanding support to us even after he (Dalmiya) left us. She gave us a lot of respect. I went there to express my gratitude,” Avishek said.
It’s not clear whether Ganguly had gone there to garner support but there’s intense speculation over the high profile meeting, three days after the demise of Dalmiya, who died of a massive cardiac arrest at a private nursing home.
But it remains to be seen whether the former India captain, who’s a newcomer into the cricket administration, is really able to make it with CAB consisting of 121 affiliated units. It’s believed Ganguly is not an unanimous choice among a group of members as heavyweights like Chitrak Mitra, Gautam Dasgupta, TMC senior leader Subrata Mukherjee, maybe eyeing the seat.
A state minister said the government has nothing to do with the CAB affairs but Ganguly is the pride of West Bengal.
“The state government has nothing to do with the matter of CAB President elections. We have nothing to comment regarding it. But yes Sourav is pride of Bengal,” the minister said.
In fact, former CAB joint secretary and current treasurer Biswarup Dey, with a considerable support also cannot be ruled out. Incidentally, the Bengal cricket icon has been roped in by the West Bengal government for hosting an upcoming business reality show and some believed that meeting was in that context.
The CAB’s electorate comprises 121 votes — 94 first and second division Kolkata clubs, 18 district units, 8 universities, and a vote from the Office Sports Federation.